Vessel Repair Codes? Can I bill these with an endarterectomy?

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Question:

I’m not clear on when these codes should be used. I repair a vessel with every vascular procedure I do. Can I report the vessel repair codes in addition to the primary procedure? For example, if I repair the arteriotomy after an endarterectomy, can I report one of the vessel repair codes?

Answer:

The vessel repair codes (35201-35286) are not intended for repair or closure of a vessel that was incised to perform a more extensive procedure, for example an endarterectomy. The arteriotomy is integral to the primary procedure; you need to open the vessel to perform the procedure. The vessel repair codes are intended to repair vessels that are injured, most typically iatrogenic or as the result of trauma.

Another use for the vessel repair codes may be during endovascular repair of abdominal or thoracic aorta aneurysms. If the blood vessels used for access have been damaged extensively by the large sheaths and carriers, the required repairs may be additionally reported with the appropriate vessel repair code.

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