Laparoscopic Procedure Converted to Open

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March 7, 2013

Question:

A patient presents for a laparoscopic colectomy for sigmoid diverticulitis. The surgeon starts the procedure laparoscopically and has to convert to an open due to extensive lysis of adhesions and scarring and converts to an open colectomy. I am thinking she can report the laparoscopic and open but I am not sure. How does she report the service?

Answer:

Great question! This is not an uncommon scenario in the world of general surgery. The surgeon may only report the appropriate open code. You may consider adding modifier 22 and increasing your fee if the surgeon’s documentation supports increased time and complexity.