CPT Code 33020 | Description & Clinical Information

CPT 33020 describes the procedure in which the healthcare provider eliminates a blockage or foreign object from the pericardial space, which is the area surrounding the heart.

Official Description

The CPT book defines CPT code 33020 as: “Pericardiotomy for removal of clot or foreign body (primary procedure)”.

Clinical Information

The procedure describes by CPT code 33020 is a surgical intervention that is intended to remove a clot or foreign body that has entered the pericardium. This is a serious medical condition that requires urgent attention, as the pericardium is the sac that surrounds the heart and any obstruction in this area can be life-threatening. The procedure can only be performed by a trained medical professional, who will take all necessary precautions to ensure the patient’s safety.

Before the procedure can begin, the patient must be appropriately prepped and anesthetized. This means that the medical team will clean the patient’s skin, insert an IV line, and administer medication to induce sedation or general anesthesia. Once the patient is unconscious, the provider will choose an approach to expose the pericardium. This will typically involve making a small incision by excising the xiphoid process and retracting the diaphragm downward. The goal is to gain clear access to the pericardium without harming any other organs.

Once the pericardium is exposed, the provider will carefully make an incision in the membrane, creating a path for the removal of the clot or foreign body. This is a delicate and precise process, as any damage to the pericardium or heart tissue could have serious consequences for the patient. The provider will use specialized tools and techniques to minimize the risk of complications and ensure a successful outcome.

After the clot or foreign body has been removed, the provider will close the wound with sutures. This will help to seal the pericardium and prevent any further complications from arising. The patient will then be closely monitored for any signs of infection, bleeding, or other issues that could require additional medical attention.

Overall, the CPT code 33020 procedure is an essential intervention for patients who are experiencing pericardial obstructions. It requires a high degree of skill and precision, and should only be performed by qualified medical professionals who have received specialized training. With proper care and attention, patients can expect to recover from this procedure and return to their normal activities with improved heart health.

Return to all the CPT codes for surgical procedures on the pericardium.

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