Reader inquires about coding for McCall culdoplasty
It is difficult to know what CPT code to use for billing when my practice’s physicians do a McCall culdoplasty during a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy. They often do a McCall procedure when a rectocele is present. One provider said it is CPT 57283. But I read an article that said a McCall repairs an “enterocele” and code 58263 would be used if doing one during a vaginal hysterectomy. Do you have a recommendation?
Sonia Pap, CPC, COBGC
Linville/Boone, North Carolina
Melanie Witt responds
Preventing vaginal vault prolapse by supporting the vaginal cuff is an essential part of hysterectomy, whether abdominal or vaginal. The McCall culdoplasty procedure is performed to support the vaginal cuff at the time of a vaginal hysterectomy by attaching the uterosacral and cardinal ligaments to the peritoneal surface with suture material such that, when tied, it draws toward the midline, helping to close off the cul-de-sac. This procedure not only supports the vaginal cuff but also closes off the cul-de-sac, thus preventing the formation of an enterocele.
As such it would be considered integral to the normal vaginal hysterectomy procedure and is not separately billable. However, in some cases where the patient has stage 1 to stage 4 uterovaginal prolapse, adjunct vaginal apex support is necessary. If the patient has this documented prior to the surgery, she will likely need more than the included uterosacral-cardinal ligament attachment to the vaginal membrane. This is where a colpopexy comes into play, and traditionally, sacrospinous fixation has been performed to accomplish this. In recent years, the uterosacral ligaments have been used instead, which is why we now have 2 codes for vaginal approach colpopexy: 57283 (uterosacral) and 57282 (sacrospinous). Both of these procedures will eliminate an existing enterocele and therefore could potentially be billed with a vaginal hysterectomy unless a more comprehensive code exits that describes the total surgery.
If the purpose of the colpopexy is to repair an existing enterocele, you would not itemize, but rather would report a vaginal hysterectomy with enterocele repair code (58263, 58270, 58292, or 58294) for that complete surgery. The codes do not specify the type of enterocele repair performed and so by definition would include “any method” including a colpopexy. You will note that the colpopexy codes 57283 and 57282 are bundled into all vaginal hysterectomy codes, and although you can use a modifier -59 to bypass this edit, you must meet the criteria for doing so. But especially, 57283 and 57282 are permanently bundled with the vaginal hysterectomy codes that include enterocele repair. Since there already exists a code that describes a vaginal hysterectomy with enterocele repair, you cannot report the modifier -59 for a separate colpopexy if the reason for doing it was to repair an enterocele. You could, however, use it if the sole reason was to do an adjunct vaginal vault repair due to documented uterovaginal prolapse.
Share your thoughts! Send your Letter to the Editor to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and the city and state in which you practice.