AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2011 Issue 4; ASK the EDITOR

Total thyroidectomy with central neck dissection

Patient has papillary thyroid carcinoma and presents for a total thyroidectomy with central neck dissection, reimplantation of parathyroid into the strap muscle, direct and flexible laryngoscopies were performed at the beginning and end of the surgery, and bilateral cranial nerve EMG monitoring tubes. We are considering reporting CPT codes 60252, 60512, and 31575. However, we are not sure if the central neck dissection would be considered a bilateral procedure. Since CPT code 60252 includes limited neck dissection, would this be an appropriate code in this scenario? What codes should be assigned for the total thyroidectomy with the central neck dissection and the parathyroid reimplantation? Can the laryngoscopy be reported as an additional code? ...

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