Clarification on Reporting the Sinusectomy CPT Codes
Q. When a surgeon suctions purulent mucoid material from any of the sinuses, is this considered removal of tissue and reported with codes 31254/31255, 31267, or 31288? Is it appropriate to report sinusectomy codes when the surgeon is only suctioning the purulent mucous from the sinus?
A. If the physician performs nasal or sinus endoscopy and aspirates only purulent material from the area, which he or she examines, then only CPT code 31231-Nasal endoscopy, diagnostic, unilateral or bilateral (separate procedure) should be reported. If there is endoscopic nasal/sinus debridement (ie, removal of necrotic material or tissue, not just suctioning mucus or pus), 31237-Nasal/sinus endoscopy, surgical; with biopsy, polypectomy or debridement (separate procedure) may be reported. Note that CPT codes 31254- Nasal/sinus endoscopy, surgical; with ethmoidectomy, partial (anterior) or 31255-with ethmoidectomy, total (anterior and posterior), 31267-with removal of tissue from maxillary sinus, or 31288- with removal of tissue from the sphenoid sinusall require that a sinusostomy or ethmoidectomy be performed. Suctioning of purulent material from sinuses during the performance of codes 31254/31255, 31267, or 31288 is, part of the procedure itself.
Approved January 2009
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