This one made me think!!! My first question was, "where, exactly, is the recurring cancer?" It would be important to determine whether it has occurred in the flap or the remaining muscle, etc. I found this excerpt from coding guidance provided by AHIMA:
"Some breast cancer patients have tumor recurrence after their mastectomy and it's especially important that the coder determine the exact site of the neoplasm. If no breast tissue remains, the tumor may actually involve the chest wall and should be coded accordingly. The physician may document "breast carcinoma" or "breast metastasis," but he or she may be referring to the cell type, not to the site of the neoplasm. Excisions of chest wall tumors are reported with CPT codes 19260, which includes rib excision, 19271, which includes plastic reconstruction but no mediastinal lymphadenectomy, and 19272, which includes plastic reconstruction and mediastinal lymphadenectomy."
I'm not sure if this helps or not but referencing the pathology report would also be helpful in gaining an understanding as to where the malignancy actually was found. Good luck!
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