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Thread: removal of dermal piercing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Mesa, AZ

    Default removal of dermal piercing

    AAPC: Back to School
    We are Fam Prac and provider used a punch removal of dermal piercings on the patient's back. We want to use removal of foreign body for dx code. Would there be a better code to use?

    Update: We decided to go with CPT 10121 complicated due to infection, painful cellulitis, anbx given, with icd-9 729.6 residual foreign body in soft tissue, 780.96 generalized pain, 686.9 skin/SQ infection, V90.12 retained non-magnetic metal fragments
    Last edited by kayleen; 06-28-2011 at 11:25 AM. Reason: update

  2. #2

    Wink Removal of Dermal Piercings

    Patient came into office for a pre-op to surgery. She had dermal piercings on one cheek, and one on each shoulder.

    ICD-9: 729.6 (residual foreign body in soft tissue) 873.41 (open wound cheek; without complication) 880.00 (open wound shoulder region; without complication) V90.12 (retained non-magnetic metal fragments)

    CPT code: 10121 ( incision and removal of foreign body; complicated)

    I would use code 10121 three times. One for the cheek linked to 729.6, 873.41, V90.12 then one per each shoulder linked to 729.6, 880.00, V90.12 with RT and LT modifiers and also with a -59 modifier on the last two codes because they are a different site or incision.

    The reason I have the open wounds in there is because the dermals essentially are open wounds. They are posts that go under the skin and butterfly out. This leaves the hole open and susceptible to bacteria and infection. I feel using these diagnosis codes along with foreign body in soft tissue tells a better story. After all we must paint a clear picture with vivid detail if we want to get paid.

    Don’t forget to put a -25 modifier on the office visit.

    Also, since this was performed during a pre-op visit, and there is a global period, I will need to make sure I modify the surgery she is having today with a -79 (unrelated procedure during the post-operative period.

    Happy Coding

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Greater Orlando



    Reading Kayleen's description, the dermal piercings are the reason for the visit and the procedures. If the visit is pre-op to surgery, it is for the surgical removal of these piercings.

    I'm curious about the modifier 78s you say are needed. How do you reach your conclusion that the procedures for the piercings occur within the global period of another surgery?
    Ron McKenzie, CPC-A
    Greater Orlando FL Chapter

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