I’m standing in the doorway of a clinic in New York City.
There are women in pink shirts and scarves waiting to receive surgery.
My eyes widen when I see the woman sitting behind the counter.
She’s been there a few times before, but this time she’s in an emergency room.
She is wearing a plastic mask, a small surgical mask that looks like a pair of glasses, a surgical gown that looks more like a diaper than a suit, and a pair in pink of an orthopedic mask.
The women are wearing masks that are made for patients with cancer, but for this woman, it’s for surgery.
She’ll wear it for the rest of her life, but her surgery is not covered by insurance, which is a problem for many people who have cancer.
“There’s no way I’m covering my surgery,” she tells me.
“This is going to cost me so much, so many years of my life.”
And it is.
The operation is to remove part of the breast.
If the procedure fails, the surgeon has to perform a partial breast transplant.
And there are no guarantees the operation will go smoothly.
It could cause a tumor to grow.
There’s no easy answer.
Some people with breast cancer need surgery to remove cancerous tissue, but the surgery costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it’s difficult for them to pay.
Others need the surgery to treat other cancers that have spread.
A small percentage of patients who need surgery also need it to remove the lining of their esophagus, which blocks air from the digestive tract.
In the United States, about two-thirds of people with cancer need at least one breast surgery.
A few years ago, surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine reported that there were nearly 5,000 new cases of breast cancer each year, mostly in women over 65.
The numbers are likely to rise, but they don’t.
Many surgeons have found ways to cut costs, and new surgical techniques are being developed that can save patients money and prolong their lives.
But the cost of breast surgery can be very high.
A surgeon at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing has been studying this problem for more than 20 years.
He tells me that the average cost for breast surgery in the United Kingdom, which covers about 90% of the country’s population, is $1,600.
In California, which has a much smaller population and much more advanced technology, the average bill is about $500.
So if you’re willing to spend $10,000, what’s the alternative?
The most common alternative is to go into the emergency room, where the surgeon can do an operation with less risk.
“You can get to the emergency rooms faster,” says Dr. Michael Schurig, a plastic surgeon who works at the Cleveland Clinic.
The surgery is a lot cheaper than getting a mastectomy or a double mastectomy, which would involve having both breasts removed.
But that’s only if you have an extra appendage to remove, which most people don’t have.
So many women with breast cancers need the operation to get rid of cancer.
But many patients don’t want to go in and do that, because they worry about complications.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who had surgery in emergency rooms were nearly twice as likely to have complications as those who went in the emergency department alone.
And more than one-third of women who went into the hospital in emergency room surgery had at least two complications, which are rare but not unheard of.
That’s why surgeons at Johns Hopkins are now testing a more specialized version of the surgery called a bypass, in which the breast is removed from the back of the abdomen instead of the front.
It’s not perfect, but it’s much less invasive and less costly than surgery that has to be done in the operating room.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where I’ve seen an emergency-room surgeon come in and perform surgery without anesthetic,” says Schurige.
He says it is possible that surgeons at other institutions might find that the surgical masks and gowns don’t match their surgical procedures.
And they may find that there are better ways to save money than the surgery itself.
“It’s a question of how much of a savings can we achieve,” says Lisa Rinaldi, a pediatric surgeon who has worked in emergency departments for the past 15 years.
“If the surgery’s not covered, it might not be covered.”
The surgeries that are covered don’t always go well, either.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists says that about 1 in 50 patients who have surgery at Johns Wayne Hospital and the University Hospital of Chicago in Chicago and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore will have complications.
But Schurigo says that even if the surgeon doesn’t have anesthetic, “there’s a chance