CPT Code 42825 | Description & Clinical Information

CPT 42825 describes the performance of a tonsillectomy procedure, which can be either initial, recurrent, or secondary, in a patient who is under the age of 12.

Official Description

The CPT book defines CPT code 42825 as: “Tonsillectomy, primary or secondary; younger than age 12”.

Clinical Information

The procedure described by CPT code 42825 is a complex surgical procedure that involves the removal of the tonsils. It is usually done to treat a variety of medical conditions, including recurrent tonsillitis, sleep apnea, and tonsil cancer. The surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis and can take about 30 minutes to complete.

Before the procedure, the patient is given anesthesia to make them comfortable and reduce pain during the operation. The area around the tonsils is then cleaned and sterilized, and a mouth gag is inserted to keep the patient’s mouth open.

Once the patient is prepared, the surgeon inspects the tonsils and grasps them with a curved clamp, pulling them forward for better access. Next, the surgeon makes an incision in the medial aspect of the tonsillar pillar using a sharp blade, such as a no. 12 blade. This step may seem simple, but it requires precision and skill to avoid causing excessive bleeding or damage.

After the incision is made, the surgeon isolates the tonsillar capsules using sharp and blunt dissection techniques. The tonsils are then removed from the capsules using delicate surgical instruments. Throughout this process, the surgeon must be careful not to damage any of the surrounding tissue, nerves, or blood vessels.

Once the tonsils have been removed, bleeding is controlled using a snare or electrocautery. This is a crucial step in the procedure, as excessive bleeding can cause complications and prolong the recovery period. The surgeon may also use other techniques, such as cryogenic (freezing), laser, or electrocautery to remove the tonsils.

Overall, the procedure described by CPT code 42825 requires a high level of skill and experience on the part of the surgeon. Patients should choose a qualified and experienced surgeon to ensure the best possible outcome. Recovery time can vary depending on the patient’s age, health, and medical history. In general, patients can expect to experience some discomfort and pain for several days after surgery. However, following the surgeon’s post-operative instructions and taking prescribed medications can help to minimize these effects.

In conclusion, the tonsillectomy procedure described by CPT code 42825 is a complicated surgical procedure that requires significant skill and expertise. While the operation may seem straightforward in theory, it can be challenging to perform in practice. Patients should discuss the procedure thoroughly with their surgeon and carefully evaluate the benefits and risks before deciding to undergo surgery. With proper care and attention, most patients can expect to recover fully and resume their normal activities within a few days to a week after surgery.

Return to all the CPT codes for excision and destruction procedures on the pharynx, adenoids, and tonsils.

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