A patient underwent total knee arthroplasty, and her postoperative course was uneventful. Six days later, she presented with hypoxia and shortness of breath, and the provider documented postoperative pulmonary embolism after a CT pulmonary angiogram confirmed an embolism in the right pulmonary artery. ICD-10-CM classifies postoperative, postprocedural embolisms to subcategory T81.7 with specific codes for artery or vein. What is the correct ICD-10-CM code for a postoperative pulmonary embolism?
In this case, assign code T81.718A, Complication of other artery following procedure not elsewhere classified, initial encounter, since the imaging report confirmed an embolism in the right pulmonary artery. Assign also code I26.99, Other pulmonary embolism without acute cor pulmonale, to specify further the complication. ICD-10-CM classifies postoperative embolisms to subcategory T81.7-. However, codes in this subcategory do not provide a default, when the location of the embolism is not specified. If the health record documentation is unclear as to the location, query the provider for clarification.