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Thread: Cauterizing skin tear

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Cauterizing skin tear

    AAPC: Back to School
    We had a patient in our family practice office today with skin tears, which our doctor cauterized. Does anyone know a procedure code that would fit that scenario? Thank you!

  2. #2


    Sounds like it might fall under the repair codes so maybe a 12020 would work or a code in the 120xx series

  3. #3


    Check out CPT 17250

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sioux Falls South Dakota


    17250 is for Chemical cauterization (i.e. silver nitrate) of granulation tissue or "proud flesh" - exuberant or excessive healing tissue. It would not be appropriate for cauterization of skin tears. The 120XX series does include cauterization without closure of superficial wounds (which is how skin tears would be seen). Based on the site and the total length per site, you could use these codes.

    Hope this helps,
    Lucinda (Cindy) McGarry, CPC-P
    Applications Specialist
    Avera Health Plans
    Education Office Sioux Falls SD Local Chapter
    Past President Sioux Falls SD Local Chapter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default silver nitrate

    Does silver nitrate count as cauterization for a simple repair of a wound not closed?

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