Frequently Asked Questions about Coding for Breast Surgery

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Coding for surgical services can be complicated due to the numerous rules, guidelines, and exceptions—all of which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services frequently updates and revises. Consequently, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) General Surgery Coding and Reimbursement Committee (GSCRC) often receives questions about coding, particularly for breast surgery. This column responds to some frequently asked coding questions related to breast cancer operations, sentinel node biopsy, ultrasound-guided core biopsies, excision with wires, intraoperative assessment of margins, and more.