tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2002 Issue 3

Reader Question: Bypass Graft

Question: The surgeon performed a right common femoral artery to left common femoral artery bypass graft. The surgeons nurse coded the procedure 35661; a certified consultant coded it 35286. Who is correct?     Missouri Subscriber  Answer: It seems as if the nurse is right.  The surgeon performed a bypass graft, not a graft repair. A bypass graft creates a new vessel that connects the two femoral arteries; a vessel repair with graft is similar to putting a patch on a leaky tire.  Thus, 35661 (Bypass graft, with other than vein; femoral-femoral) should...

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