Understanding Contralateral and ipsilateral concept in Medical Coding

Basic Concepts about Vascular Coding

We know as know there are different facilities in medical coding. Coding medical charts is sometimes easy when it’s a radiology facility and difficult when it’s an interventional radiology chart. Now, coming to coding complex surgery charts specially the vascular procedure we can see there are different concepts used for coding medical charts. For example, when we code a different order of CPT codes in vascular procedure we have to follow one rule that the lower order gets included in higher order. This is completely understood if you understand the selective and non-selective catheterization concept in interventional radiology coding. Now, we are here to understand contralateral and ipsilateral concept, frequently used in vascular procedure coding. This concept is useful for answering some question even for CPC certification exams. For CIRRC exam we have to understand the entire basic concept about vascular procedure to clear CIRRC exam. Let’s understand first the movement of catheter which plays an important role for reaching to a correct CPT code.

Understanding Contralateral and ipsilateral concept in Medical Coding

CPC Practice Exam - Medical Coding Study Guide Please Click Here!

Coding Extremity interventional vascular procedures
Now, we know that when we do interventional or diagnostic radiology procedure in extremity we use a catheter to inject contrast and take images to diagnose the condition. Now, as we know the movement of catheter can be contralateral or ipsilateral depending on the blood vessel (artery or vein) under treatment. Now, let’s understand with a simple example suppose we have a treat a problem in right common femoral artery (36246) a second order artery. Now, right common femoral artery is a branch of right common iliac artery. For taking an access, we insert a needle in left common femoral artery and move it towards aorta (non-selective). Now, when the catheter comes to aorta, we have to move it to opposite direction (contra) to right common femoral artery to treat the artery. Hence, this movement of catheter form left common femoral artery through aorta to right common femoral artery is called as contralateral movement of catheter. Now, if the same catheter instead of moving on opposite direction moves on the same side (left to left) from aorta is called as ipsilateral movement of catheter.
Solving some of the sample Interventional vascular procedure charts would make you understand about this concept. I would suggest solving some live charts of vascular procedure. Practicing more charts will help to become perfect in coding vascular procedures. If you have question do comment below I would like to answer them.s

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