College of American Pathologists

  Codes clarified for breast excision


Reprinted from February 1999 CAP TODAY

The use of two surgical pathology codes has been clarified in this year’s edition of the American Medical Associations Current Procedural Terminology.

Wording has been added to the 88307 gross and microscopic examination descriptor to clarify that breast excisions requiring microscopic evaluation of surgical margins, involving work similar to a partial or simple mastectomy, are to be reported with this code. Other breast specimens, such as an incisional or needle biopsy or excision of a discrete lesion (fibroadenoma, for example), not requiring a microscopic examination of the margins would be coded as 88305.

The clarification of the CPT specimen classification comes at the request of to College to address current practice in excision and examination of breast lesions and to ensure proper coding of specimens not described by the surgeon or pathologist as partial or simple mastectomies.