September 4, 2014
What code would I use for placement of a fat graft at the pituitary region?
Good question, and this brings up an important CPT coding concept. Placement of graft material is typically included in the primary procedure code; in this example, removal of the pituitary tumor code (e.g., 61548, 62165). However, harvesting of graft material through a separate skin incision is separately reported. Harvest of abdominal fat for grafting is best reported using 20926 (Tissue grafts, other (e.g., paratenon, fat, dermis)). Why not report 15770 (Graft; derma-fat-fascia)? Because 15770 is for a composite graft which means, according to a previous CPT Assistant article, the tissue used for the graft would be “a continuous portion (containing all three of the layered components), individual parts (grafted layer by layer), or inserted in combination (such as a fascia-fat layer, later covered by a dermal layer)” – this is not what’s being done in the pituitary procedure.