Unilateral Thyroidectomy or Completion?

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June 26, 2014

Question:

Our surgeon performed a partial thyroidectomy and during the global period the pathology returned positive. The surgeon took the patient back to the operating room for a completion thyroidectomy during the global period. Do I report the return to the OR as a unilateral thyroid or completion?

Answer:

The correct code for this is 60260 (Thyroidectomy, removal of all remaining thyroid tissue following previous removal of a portion of thyroid). Because the completion thyroid is in a global period, the surgeon will append modifier 58 to CPT code 60260. The physician is still treating the thyroid disease and the subsequent procedure is more extensive as it requires complete removal of the thyroid to treat the disease process.