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Thread: CPT Help-Re:Wound Cautherization

  1. #1

    Default CPT Help-Re:Wound Cautherization

    AAPC: Back to School
    A doctor in the office saw patient who came in for cardiac follow up and
    was bleeding from a minor arm wound. To stop the bleeding the doctor
    cauterized the wound Would anyone know the CPT code for the cauterization?
    This is not something we normally do and would appreciate any help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kokomo, IN

    Default cauterization

    12001 simple repair superficial wound, extremity, 2.5 cm or less.
    You did not mention a size, so I went to the lowest number.
    But in 3M I started with cauterization and ended up with this code.
    If you look in CPT under Integumentary, repair, and definitions of simple, "This includes local anesthesia and chemical or electrocauterization of wounds not closed."
    Anyone else?

  3. #3


    Yes, there is no size mentioned and it may end up to be included in the office visit. The description od the simple repair says "anesthesia AND chemical or electrocautherization." Because it says AND, does the anesthesia have to be done before the cautherization? Would be glad to know someones opinion...

  4. #4


    How about 17250?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sioux Falls South Dakota


    You do not have to have local anesthesia to use the 120XX codes; the note is saying it is included if used, not to bill it separately. Also, 17250 would not be the correct code, as that is not cauterization to stop bleeding, but to remove excess flesh from a healing wound.

    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

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