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Laser back surgery clinics reap profits, complaints

NPR, May 5, 2011

Anything involving lasers seems modern and sophisticated, almost by definition. And surgery with lasers? That's got to be better, right? Maybe you've seen the ads for clinics offering laser spine surgery in airline magazines or on the Web. No hospital stays, quick recoveries and minimal incisions are part of the pitch. Well, Bloomberg News' David Armstrong reports that the booming business at for-profit outpatient laser surgery clinics comes at a high price for insurers and some patients. And the rate of serious complaints is higher than those for other outpatient procedures.