Unilateral or Completion Thyroid, Not in the Global Period

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July 10, 2014

Question:

We read with interest your last coding coach regarding the completion thyroidectomy during the global period of the partial. Our question is, what if the patient had a unilateral thyroidectomy years ago and is returned to the OR now for a contralateral unilateral thyroidectomy? How would we report this scenario?

Answer:

You would still report CPT code 60260 (Thyroidectomy, removal of all remaining thyroid tissue following previous removal of a portion of thyroid) since the surgeon is operating in a previously operated field to remove all remaining residual thyroid tissue following previous removal of a portion of the thyroid gland. A global period modifier is not appended in this scenario for obvious reasons.