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stitches removal

  1. Default stitches removal
    Medical Coding Books
    my physician removed stitches from a year old arthroplasty, under local and mac should I code 15850?

  2. #2
    Milwaukee WI
    Default No
    "Under anesthesia" means general anesthesia, so the answer to your question is "no."

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M

  3. #3
    was this done in the office or an operating room? Can you post the scrubbed op note?

    Tessa..I'm not sure I agree with "under anesthesia" meaning "general"anesthesia. Reason: There are several codes in the CPT book that specifically state "general" anesthesia. (ie 27275, 21073, 27606)

    I do however agree that the code in question specifically states "other than local" but also question the extent of the MAC performed as well.

    Depending on documentation, a foreign body isnt out of the question.

  4. #4
    Milwaukee WI
    Default Need more info
    Mary is right ... we need more info ...
    My original answer was very focused (as was the question) ... We use this a LOT for our infants and young children who have sutures in their face and can't be expected to hold still for the stitch removal. So we take them to the OR and perform this under anesthesia. (I'm talking mostly cleft palate and other craniofacial surgeries.)

    Given that the original surgery was a year prior, I can see where it's possible that FB removal might apply. As Mary noted, we really need the scrubbed op note to be sure.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M

  5. Default per your request
    The patient was brought into the operating room, IV antiobiotics were given, sedation was given by the anesthesia service. the torniquet was placed on the right knee. three stitches along the incision were marked, 1% lidocaine was injected into the subcutaneous area and small 1 cm stab incisions were made at the sites over the previous incision. Dissection was carried down thrugh the fascia down to the extensor mechanism and each stitch removed. the wound was irrigated, several vicryl simple sutures were placed into the deep fascia, followed by closure of the skin with monocryl, steri-strips and gauze dressing

  6. #6
    I would go with 27372. I chose the "deep" code because he did state that he went "through the fascia" and down to the extensor mechanism.

  7. Default
    Thank you, believe it or not that was my choice too.

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