Removing a Portion of a Tissue Expander

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October 2, 2014

Question:

I have attended 3 of your meetings in the past – 2 in Dallas and 1 in Boston – you do a great job! I need a little help on coding something. What is the code for removal of a fill port only? We are not removing the tissue expander at all. We are taking the patient back to the operating room to do this and we are not in a global period. The codes that I keep coming back to are 19499 and 20680. Any recommendations?

Answer:

I would not use 20680 or 20670 since these codes are in the musculoskeletal system and generally meant to be used for removal of orthopaedic/bone implants. I recommend using 11971 (Removal of tissue expander(s) without insertion of prosthesis) with modifier 52 (reduced services) since you are not removing the entire expander.

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