By Ilya Petrou, M.D., Contributing Editor
Fueled by ingenuity and hard work, Ellipse A/S (Hoersholm, Denmark) proudly introduces the Nordlys. As a premium medical device, Nordlys offers dermatologists, aesthetic physicians and their patients simple and safe solutions for a variety of conditions, including benign vascular and pigmented lesions, hair removal and other indications amenable to light-based therapy.
One of the secrets to the success of this powerful, but elegant workhorse can be found in the shorter pulses generated during treatment. With the Nordlys system, the researchers and scientists at Ellipse have taken light-based technology to the next level by introducing an innovative sub-millisecond pulse, resulting in superior versatility and improved clinical outcomes. Many experts in the field consider this platform second to none among cosmetic devices on the market today and the new standard in modern light-based therapy.
“Nordlys is the Danish word for Aurora Borealis (Dawn of the North)”, explained Jacob Larsen, Ellipse’s CEO, “and it’s an appropriate name, as this is the dawn of a new era in light-based procedures. It is well-known that smaller targets require shorter pulses to achieve successful outcomes, but historically, intense pulsed light (IPL) has failed to deliver the high energy, short pulses supplied by pulsed dye lasers – until now.”
What are your first impressions with the Nordlys platform and in your experience, how does it compare to other technologies such as traditional pulsed dye laser?
Professor Peter Bjerring, M.D. – The new shorter Ellipse pulses now enable me to successfully manage conditions that previously were only treatable with pulsed dye lasers. With such short pulses, even the residual vessels left over after a port-wine stain or rosacea treatment can be targeted, giving a more complete result than was previously possible. Nordlys uses a broader waveband (PR 530 handpiece covers 530 nm to 750 nm and VL 555 covers 555 nm to 950 nm) than just the 585 nm to 595 nm of pulsed dye lasers (PDL), which not only gives it the pulse intensity needed to match PDL, but the variable penetration depth to treat a wider range of conditions more successfully.
Professor Agneta Troilius Rubin, M.D., Ph.D. – I was recently asked if I needed my pulsed dye laser now that my Ellipse has shorter pulses, and in truth, I don’t think I do. PDL was my treatment of choice for twenty years, but for the last four, it has been my Ellipse. The new Nordlys allows me to employ shorter pulses (0.5 ms to 1.5 ms), just as I did with my PDL.
Professor Michael Drosner, M.D. – The new, short pulses of the Nordlys can produce a mild purpura in port-wine stains when using the same fluence as we would expect to use with PDL, even where the PDL itself does not achieve this result. In my experience, the outcomes are just as good when treating other small vessels such as spider hemangiomas, angiofibroma or granulomatous rosacea. However, that is just one part of what the Nordlys is capable of. I use the system to treat 80% of patients who come to my practice, for conditions as diverse as dyspigmentation caused by sun damage, hair removal, rosacea, or 3 mm reticular vessels in the legs. The Nordlys is quite possibly the most versatile and effective aesthetic device I have ever used.
In your opinion, what are some of the advantages of the Nordlys over other systems on the market?
Professor Bjerring – This is the first system to deliver a pulse as short as 0.5 ms, and it easily matches the performance of PDLs at the typical 1.5 ms vascular pulse. Using selective waveband technology, based on Ellipse’s patented dual mode filter, only wavelengths that are beneficial to treatment of the target chromophores are used. Since wavelengths that mainly heat up water are excluded, there is no need to protect the interstitial fluid by cooling the target, which in turn means that blood can flow normally during treatment. Selective waveband technology eliminates the need to freeze or apply cold air to the skin, which many patients find more uncomfortable than the treatment itself. This also makes the clinical endpoint more apparent.
Professor Troilius Rubin – I love the Nd:YAG and have plenty of evidence of its efficacy. In addition, my patients prefer this with its gentle built-in cooling over a PDL with dynamic cooling, which can scare them in terms of discomfort. The Nordlys system also offers excellent ergonomics; it is easy to move around in the patient room, enter data or change parameters during the treatment session.
Professor Drosner – As a physician consultant for Ellipse A/S, in partnership with other consultants, we worked to improve the intelligence of the platform by investigating new hardware and software. Together with the company, we established safety features such as Ellipse Clinical Intelligence, where the physician uses existing diagnostic skills to enter treatment parameters, and the system suggests an appropriate energy and pulse length for the patients’ skin type, suntan and condition. This reduces the learning curve of the device enormously.
Using both the Nd:YAG laser and Selective Waveband Technology (SWT), Nordlys empowers practitioners to meet patients’ increasing demands for aesthetic and dermatologic procedures with a single, versatile device, increasing return on investment while minimizing office space.
With the introduction of the new and unique sub-millisecond pulses, Nordlys enables the user to address a greater number of indications including challenging-to-treat super thin telangiectasias and residual port-wine stains, all from a single platform. This system is also very user-friendly, with the new flexible arm offering easy access to the touchscreen and accessory tray, allowing physicians to easily and comfortably change settings without having to move around.