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Thread: Exc mass left chest wall

  1. #1

    Default Exc mass left chest wall

    AAPC: Back to School
    I need some help on which code to use. This is how the op reads:

    Mass, left chest wall.

    Incision was made over the mass. Subcutaneous tissue was divided with cautery down through Scarpa's fascia. Subcutaneous mass above the muscle was then excised bluntly and with cautery. Deep to the muscle was the second mass, this was dissected out bluntly and with cautery.

    The path report did come back as cancer. Would you use 19301 because it was deep but it doesn't really mention surrounding tissue??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Johnson City


    What about code section 21555-21558. I often use these for subcutaneous or deeper excisions of the chest wall. A lot of times it applies when the chest wall excision is done on a patient who has a previous history of Mastectomy. When there is no breast tissue remaining.
    Melissa Jewett, CPC

  3. #3


    I thought about using those codes, but I wasen't sure if I should use the codes with subfascial or the radical resection because it is a malignant neoplasm?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Johnson City


    Those codes can be used for malignant or benign tumors.

    As a reference I looked at my 2010 General Surgery Coding Companion. It matches both malignant, and benign ICD-9's to codes 21555-21556.
    Melissa Jewett, CPC

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