Digging Into HIM & Coding Blog

​Did you know there are two separate nasal cavities, eight sinuses, and six turbinates to consider when coding sinus surgery?! This can make for quite a coding challenge!

Most sinus surgeries performed are called Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), which are procedures performed to open up sinus cavities to promote airflow and drainage. Properly coding these procedures requires understanding of sinus anatomy and being familiar with the parenthetical notes in this section of the CPT book.

Continue reading for five tips to get you started in correct code selection.

Additional Tips & Expertise

Q: Please explain again, when to report unlisted code for turbinate procedures?

Q:  For the last polling question of the webinar, should #3 be 31256-RT instead of 31267-RT? The polling question was as follows:
On the right side, a total ethmoidectomy, and a maxillary antrostomy, with removal of tissue.
On the left side, a total ethmoidectomy and a sphenoidotomy with removal of tissue from the sphenoid.

  1. 31255-RT, 31259-LT
  2. 31253-RT, 31256-RT
  3. 31255-RT, 31267-RT, 31259-LT

Q: At our facility, turbinate resection/excision is done endoscopically along with other sinus procedures. Are 30130, 30140, 30801, 30802 still appropriate codes for this procedure done endoscopically?

Q: My surgeon documents endoscopic balloon sinuplasty, is that the same thing as balloon dilation?

Q:  When codes 31231-31235 are reported for diagnostic nasal/sinus procedures, what portions of the nasal/sinus anatomy are examined?

Q:  Can submucosal resection of the turbinates be reported with the endoscopic sinus procedures? For example, 30140 and 31255?

Featured Education

Sinus Surgery - CPT Coding for the Nose

Learn all about the anatomy and disease processes of the sinuses. Review CPT codes and guidelines for endoscopic as well as open surgical procedures.

Click here to purchase webinar!

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