November 2016 Q & A

Question: Cutting Angioplasty with Perforation

Under fluoroscopic guidance, the upper arm dialysis access fistula was catheterized and fistulogram was obtained. There was a greater than 50% stenosis within the mid cephalic vein that was dilated with an 8 mm angioplasty balloon and high pressure angioplasty balloon with no effect. The lesion was then dilated with a cutting balloon. Following angioplasty with a cutting balloon there was a leak identified from the cephalic vein. Multiple attempts at balloon tamponade were performed, and these were unsuccessful at controlling the leak. An 8 mm x 6 cm fluency stent graft was then placed across the leak and dilated to 8 mm. Follow-up fistulogram was obtained and showed free flow of contrast through the stent. Cephalic arch and central veins are patent. The arterial anastomosis is widely patent. There is a small pseudoaneurysm in the cephalic vein near the arterial anastomosis.
I am assigning codes 36147 and 37238. Should something be stated about the perforation? If so, how should this be coded?
Answer:
Since you treated the complication of the angioplasty with a stent, you just code the stent, as you have, with 37238. The angioplasty is bundled with the stent placement. Nothing additional just because it was ruptured. The access and initial imaging is described by 36147. In 2017, this entire procedure is described by CPT code 36903.