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Ear Lobe Laceration Repair

NESmith

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Good Morning. When a patient has a lacerated ear lobe, is it not correct to use the repair codes depending on the type of repair? Thank You in advance for your help
 

preserene

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“Can be tricky. Precise coding requires attention to detail and the assurance that adequate information is documented Simple repair is a single-layer closure involving partial or full-thickness damage to the skin and/or subcutaneous tissues. This includes local anesthesia and chemical or electro cauterization of the wound.
Intermediate repair involves the deeper layers of subcutaneous tissues and non muscle fascia and the skin. This is usually closed in two layers.
Complex repair is a wound that will require more than a two-layer closure, and may need revision, debridement, extensive undermining and/or placement of stent
Exception: A single-layer closure may be coded as an intermediate repair if the wound is contaminated and needs cleaning before suturing. The length of the laceration or wound must be documented in centimeters; any gravel or debris in the w0und must be documented, as well stents or retention sutures.

If extensive debridement or decontamination is needed to clean the wound, the appropriate debridement codes should be used in addition to the closure codes.
When you repair structures such as blood vessels, nerves or tendons, the skin closure is considered part of that repair and is not to be coded separately. Simple exploration of blood vessel, nerves or tendons is included in the laceration repair code.

If the wounds are a result of penetrating injuries that must be extended and explored, use the appropriate wound exploration code
.
One of the most frequent oversights of CPT coding of wound repair is not indicating the length of the laceration. The tricky aspect of wound repair coding, is matching the CPT code with the precise documentation to justify the charge.

How much debridement must be performed to justify a higher code or to justify a debridement code in addition to the repair code requires good judgment and clear documentation of the details.” From Cutting edge Surgery news.
As for your case, though you do not come across all those lements because subcutaneous and the muscular layers are all very negligible,still laceration of ear lobe can abide to many of them, though, the layers rule do not present in much here.
As we always have a ‘rule of thumb' the final is your doctor's documentation and clarify with him/her for benefit of doubt.
Hope this whole story helps!
 
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