Soft tissue placement of suture to assess allergic reation


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I have a situation I have never had before. A patient came in for knee pain. She has a meniscus tear in one knee and DJD in the other. While our surgeon was discussing her options the patient had stated that she is afraid to have a TKA because she is worried about the sutures. Apparently she had her gallbladder removed several years ago and had problems with infection. She believed the issues she had were from the suture material used during her surgery.

In the meantime our surgeon did a meniscectomy on the other knee. While still in the OR the surgeon made an incision, dissected down to the subcutaneous tissue, and placed a suture with 3 separate suture materials and closed her up. He did this to assess her tissue reaction to the different suture materials that could be used for a future total knee arthroplasty.

I don't see how I can bill this. It is defiantly an unusual situation. Has anyone had a situation like this or does anyone have any suggestions? Any help is appreciated.

Thank you!!


True Blue
Salt Lake City, UT
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Your correct, this cant be billed out. It's not a restorative procedure and you would have no supporting diagnosis for performing the procedure. I'm glad that he did it for the patient's sake, but no there is nothing that you could legitimately submit to insurance for payment.