Medicine: Come-and-Go Surgery

Major savings for minor operations

They are usually open only nine hours a day, provide patients with nothing more to eat than a little orange juice and crackers, and shuttle them in and out of the operating room so fast they hardly realize that they have been under the knife. Surgical factories? Not quite. In the past few years, more than 70 such private, one-day surgical centers have opened in the U.S. Undertaking minor surgery of all kinds—from face lifts to vasectomies to repair of hernias—the clinics discharge patients almost as soon as they shake off their postoperative grogginess. The only radical...

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