Question: Our surgeon performs an abdominal closure using left and right myofascial advancement flaps. I believe we should code one unit of 15734 because flap codes refer to the recipient area — not donor site. But the surgeon believes we should code 15734 x 2 because he uses two flaps to perform the defect closure. What is the correct coding?
Answer: You should not report 15734 (Muscle, myocutaneous, or fasciocutaneous flap; trunk) for this service — either once or twice. Instead, you should list the procedure using an adjacent tissue transfer code such as 14000 (Adjacent tissue transfer or rearrangement, trunk; defect 10 sq cm or less) or 14001 (… defect 10.1 sq cm to 30.0 sq cm) depending on the defect size.
Here’s why: Adjacent tissue transfer rearrangement includes repair by advancement flaps, according to CPT instruction in the introduction to those codes. On the other hand, 15734 does not specifically include myofascial flaps and does not describe advancement flaps for closure.
Size matters: Rather than coding this twice, you should code the entire size of the primary and secondary defects (including secondary defects for both flaps). If the defect is larger than 30.0 cm, you can still use the adjacent tissue transfer or rearrangement codes by listing 14301 (Adjacent tissue transfer or rearrangement, any area; defect 30.1 sq cm to 60.0 sq cm) and adding +14302 (… each additional 30.0 sq cm, or part therof [list separately in addition to code for primary procedure]) as needed.
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