A diagnostic endoscopy is not separately reportable with a surgical endoscopy per CPT Manual instructions. If an endoscopic procedure fails and is converted into an open procedure, the endoscopic procedure is not separately reportable with the open procedure. Neither the surgical endoscopy nor diagnostic endoscopy code should be reported with the open procedure code when a surgical endoscopy is converted to an open procedure.
Example: A patient presents with aspiration of a foreign body. A bronchoscopy is performed identifying lobar foreign body obstruction, and an attempt is made to remove this obstruction bronchoscopically. It would be inappropriate to report 31622 CPT code (diagnostic bronchoscopy) and 31635 (surgical bronchoscopy with removal of foreign body). Only the “surgical” endoscopy, CPT code 31635, may be reported. In this example, if the endoscopic effort fails and a thoracotomy is performed, the diagnostic bronchoscopy may be reported separately in addition to the thoracotomy. Modifier 58 may be used to indicate that the diagnostic bronchoscopy and the thoracotomy are staged or planned procedures. However, the CPT code for the surgical bronchoscopy to remove the foreign body is not separately reportable because the procedure was converted to an open procedure. If the surgeon decides to repeat the bronchoscopy after induction of general anesthesia to confirm the surgical approach to the foreign body, this confirmatory bronchoscopy is not separately reportable although the initial diagnostic bronchoscopy may still be reportable.