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Thread: Superficial vs deep lymph node

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Superficial vs deep lymph node

    AAPC: Back to School
    How can I tell if a lymph node is superficial vs deep? How deep does it have to be before we code 38510 - 38525?

  2. #2


    According to CPT Assistant article Sept. 2008/Volume 18 Issue 9, it states

    "that lymph nodes are divided into levels I through III. Levels IIand III would always be deep(code 38525). Level I may be deep(code 38525) or superficial (code 38500), depending on the patient's body habitus. Superficial nodes at most sites would be easily palpable. Since Level I axillary lymph nodes may be deep or superficial, it is important that the depth (ie, deep or superficial) be documented in the medical record to ensure correct coding."

    Hope that helps,
    M.Klaubauf, CPC

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