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Thread: Reducible vs Incarcerated Hernia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Question Reducible vs Incarcerated Hernia

    AAPC: Back to School
    It would seem that determining whether to use a reducible vs an incarcerated CPT code would be simple enough. Here goes...A physician is noting that an incarcerated hernia was repaired. Within the dictation, the incarcerated fat is reduced and a patch applied. So, is this incarcerated or reducible? Can incarcerated hernia only contain "fat"? Or must it contain bowel, too? (I'm looking at CPT codes 49655 vs 49654.)

  2. #2


    I would ask the doctor for clarification. I've had the same scenerio and have had to check.
    adrianne, cpc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Lincoln, NE


    It's my understanding that an incarcerated hernia is a hernia which cannot be externally manually reduced. An incarcerated hernia may contain fat, omentum, or bowel. This hernia was surgically reduced intra-operatively which is part of the repair -- the surgeon is not going to repair a hernia without reducing the incarceration. This procedure should be coded as an incarcerated hernia repair.

    Julie, CPC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Vancouver Washington


    I agree with Julie. And to answer your question, a hernia can be incarcerated with different things. Fat, bowel, etc...

    Jaime, CPC

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