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Otolaryngology Coding Alert

Reader Questions:

69310 vs. 69140: Look for Reconstruction

Question: An otolaryngologist performs a canaloplasty with osteoma excision to treat stenosis due to the osteoma. Should I report 69140 or 69310?

Virginia Subscriber Answer: Provided documentation supports a canaloplasty, such as drilling the bony canal or attaching skin grafts, you should assign 69310 (Reconstruction of external auditory canal [meatoplasty] [e.g., for stenosis due to injury, infection] [separate procedure]). This code involves reconstructing the external auditory canal.

If the otolaryngologist did not reconstruct the canal and simply excised the osteoma, you should report 69140 (Excision exostosis[es], external auditory canal). To remove an exostosis, the surgeon normally makes an incision into the external ear canal, removes the osteoma and replaces the skin.

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