tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2016 Issue 3

You Be the Coder: Manage Your Lap Band Service Coding

Question: We had a patient who, following a lap band procedure, had a dilated pouch. To treat the dilation, the surgeon removed saline through the subcutaneous port to minimize the band restriction, and put the patient on a liquid diet for two weeks. A month later, the patient returned, again with a dilated pouch. This time the surgeon laparoscopically “unbuckled” the band. Should we use the same procedure code to bill for the lap band draining and unbuckling that the surgeon provided on the different dates? California Subscriber Answer: No, you should not use the same code to...

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