19301-Benign Lesion


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I have been using code 19301 for actual Malignant lesion removals. It was brought to my attention that others are coding 19301 for Benign lesions....example intraductal papilloma's.

When any of our surgeons go in for a breast mass (benign)....they always remove the entire breast mass as a whole, there is always the chance of cancer....so they remove it completely.....so I have always stayed with the 19120-19125 codes. Normally when it is cancer they do specifically state they removed margins....so I code 19301.

So my question is....if they go in for any breast mass...even benign....and state they removed the complete mass......and use the magical words of "margins"......I can code 19301?

It feels like overcoding.....does the difference really just come down to margins? It seems like we are always trying to obtain clean margins with any mass.....

I would love other views on this.....