Question: What is a TAP catheter, and how should we code for using one?
Answer: Transversus abdominis plane (TAP) catheters are an alternative to epidural analgesia after upper abdominal surgery. It sometimes is also used as an adjunct to anesthesia for abdominal laparoscopic procedures.
If a TAP catheter is used for postoperative pain management, report 64450 (Injection, anesthetic agent; other peripheral nerve or branch). Another option is 64421 (Injection, anesthetic agent; intercostal nerves, multiple, regional block).
If the block is used as part of the anesthesia — not for post-operative pain management — do not report it separately from the anesthesia services code.