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Thread: embedded earring in earlobe

  1. #1

    Default embedded earring in earlobe

    AAPC: Back to School

    patient came in to ER for an embedded back of earring into earlobe. the physician used forceps to retrieve it out with 1% lidocaine. Can this be coded and if so which CPT code would I use? Removal foreign body in skin??? or ear. there is not one for earlobe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Murrieta, CA

    Default Removal of earring back

    I would use ear so it is as specific as possible. If more information is needed, the insurance carrier will request records. But since ear is an option, that's what I would use.

  3. #3

    Default No FB Removal

    If the doc uses forceps only, you cannot code a FB removal for earlobe. If the earring was in the ear itself and the doc used forceps you could use 69200. But if in earlobe, you can't use FB removal code unless doc incised the skin to remove the FB.

    Jim Strafford CEDC MCS-P

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kansas City, MO


    I have a similar case, but doc DID have to incise into earlobe...no stitches were required though...what code would I use?
    Not sure if you can consider an earlobe to contain "subcutaneous tissue" for 10120??
    Last edited by LindaEV; 02-19-2010 at 12:52 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default 10120 for incision to remove FB

    10120 is correct for removing a FB from ear lobe where an incision is required.

    Lay description from Encoder Pro:
    The physician removes a foreign body embedded in subcutaneous tissue. The physician makes a simple incision in the skin overlying the foreign body. The foreign body is retrieved using hemostats or forceps. The skin may be sutured or allowed to heal secondarily. Report 10121 if the procedure is more complicated, requiring dissection of underlying tissues.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  6. #6

    Default earring back removal imbedded in ear lobe

    We had a patient come into the ER with an earring back imbedded in the earlobe. There is not a code for the earlobe and the physician did not make and incision in her earlobe, but this required anesthesia because of age at 5. He used a sterile needle to open the scab up, the expressed the fluid out still not seeing the back so he inserted the needle through the hole where the earing should have went and still did not find it, so expressed with pressure again and it was visible and removed with sterile tweezers. We do not think this is a chargable procedure, but with the general anesthesia, does this change the situation when the insurance carrier sees anesthesia charges and no procedure coded. I am looking for some advice on this as the other ones on her were older.

    Malena Fugle, CPC-H
    Last edited by harley83; 08-13-2010 at 06:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    removal of a foreign body from skin and subcutaneous tissue is included in the E/M level so I would not code this

  8. #8

    Default E-Code for the earring

    What E-code would you use for the embeded earing?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    i would code 10120 if MD had to make opening to remove earing back and had to push it thru that is an incision no "size or instrument" is required for creating exit for foreign body. you may need to use a 59 on the sedation code

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