Cardiovascular and Vascular Interventional Radiology Coding

Cardiovascular and Vascular Interventional Radiology Coding

Laureen: Alright, what have we got next here? Alright, Bina, you challenged me this month. Cardiovascular… and I put in parentheses VIR because it is related to Vascular Interventional Radiology. So she asked, “My question is from cardiovascular section. Please describe what is an interventional procedure and then is that selective or non-selective? For what kind of disease is this procedure usually used?”

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So again, that’s another topic that could probably take a long time. Okay so basically, it is a procedure used for diagnosis or treatment, interventional. You’re intervening. And it involves making a cut or a whole in the patient’s body. So if you did a normal x-ray, if you will, or some other imaging thing, you’re normally not cutting into the patient’s body to do it. So interventional plus radiology, that’s when they are doing this. It could be a teeny hole or it could be something a little bit larger. But that’s where the interventional comes in.

There’s a nice article here on what is an interventional procedure. I copied and pasted some of it here for this discussion. But it talks about… it’s interventional procedure sometimes abbreviated, IR or VIR for vascular and interventional radiology. It is also known as image guided surgery and is a subspecialty of radiology. And the basic concept behind it is to diagnose or treat with the most minimally invasive technique possible. So the imaging guidance helps them to do this but sometimes, they’re doing the interventional part to basically get dye into the body to take a better image. So they kind of go hand in hand.

So here are some common IR procedures. You can have angiography where they’re imaging the blood vessels, looking for abnormalities. Balloon angioplasty or stenting, chemo embolization, cholecystotomy, drain insertions, embolizations, thrombolysis. All of these are interventional procedures. Vascular interventional procedures is when you’re obviously dealing with the arteries and veins. So this is just a listing that came from that website. So that’s what they mean when they talk about an interventional procedure.

Then the second part of her question was about selective versus non-selective. So here’s another article, “IR Roadblocks: Understanding Common Variances in Vessel Anatomy”. And then the AMA makes freely available the 2013 CPT changes for vascular surgery and interventional radiology. This one I did want to take us to because they’ve got some good images here. It’s amazing what you can find when you Google.

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