A Nasty Side Effect To Cutting Edge Surgery?

You report that the new "port-access" open-heart-surgery technique is likely to lower costs for insurers and employers ("Bypassing the trauma," News: Analysis & Commentary, Sept. 4). While that may be true for the individual case, we need to ask whether costs will increase overall: The volume of procedures may grow because the new technique is easier for the patient. Several recent studies on newer, less invasive procedures for gall bladder surgery have shown that costs overall rose due to such volume increases.

Rene H. Reixach

Finger Lakes Health

Systems Agency

Rochester, N.Y.

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