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Thread: Wound Vac/ Reopening?

  1. #1

    Default Wound Vac/ Reopening?

    AAPC: Back to School
    The physician performed an exploratory lap and closed with a wound vac. She is now returning to the OR 24 hours later for a second look. The documentation is clear that another exploratory lap was performed.
    The question is that since the physician did not have to remove any stiches or make an actual incision because the abdomen is open with a wound vac is it a "reopening" of recent laparotomy? (49002)
    Rachel C. Ashley, CPC-E/M
    Houston, TX

  2. #2


    In my opinion, yes it is.
    C.Martin CPC-GENSG

  3. #3


    I agree with CMartin. The surgeon is re-entering the abdomen following a recent laparotomy.


  4. #4


    I received an answer in another forum where I posted the same question.

    "This would be considered a re-opening but place a modifier-52 to show that the surgeon did not have to "remove sutures or staples in multiple layers".
    Per John F. Bishop, PA-C, CPC

    Makes sense to me.
    Rachel C. Ashley, CPC-E/M
    Houston, TX

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