AMA CPT® Assistant - 1996 Issue 6 (June)

The Great Debate: When is "Surgery" Not Surgery? (June 1996)

June 1996 page 6 Coding Commentary The Great Debate: When is "Surgery" Not Surgery? How do you define surgery? For many years this question has prompted much discussion. As early as 1937, the "debate" was recognized by Alton Ochsner and Owen Wangensteen, the editors of Surgery, a surgical textbook, when they wrote in an editorial announcement: "There can be no longer a sharp distinction between that which is medical and that which is surgical. The borders between medicine and surgery are not fixed, but are constantly changing. There is a continual striving to find means of treating surgical diseases...

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