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General Surgery Coding Alert

Reader Question:
44120: Capture Enterectomy and Anastamosis

Question: Gallstone identified in med-jejunum causing bowel obstruction. Surgeon performed midline laparotomy and enterotomy, allowing removal of the gallstone. Finding edematous tissue in the small bowel distal to the obstruction, the surgeon performed a partial enterectomy and completed a functional end-to-end anastomosis to the enterotomy site. The op note states 44130 -- is that the correct code for this procedure?Arizona SubscriberAnswer: Although part of the procedure would be described by 44130 (Enteroenterostomy, anastomosis of intestine, with or without cutaneous enterostomy [separate procedure]), that is probably not the best code choice for the entire encounter. Code 44130 describes the enteroenterostomy, but misses the work involved in resecting a section of small bowel.Instead, you should list a more comprehensive code that captures the enterectomy as well as the anastomosis of the resected bowel to the enterotomy site. The more descriptive code would be 44120 (Enterectomy, resection of small intestine; single resection and anastomosis).Beyond [...]

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