tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2008 Issue 8

Reader Questions: Depth and Location Matter Most for Lipomas

Question: Recently, our surgeon excised 18 lipomas from a patient's right arm, and 14 from his left arm (32 lipomas total). How should I report this? Will I need modifiers? Florida Subscriber Answer: If you are certain that you are dealing with lipomas (non-cancerous fatty tumors), you should look to codes in CPT's musculoskeletal section, rather than to lesion excision codes (a lipoma usually occurs in subcutaneous tissue, rather than on the skin). Your question doesn't specify the precise location of the lipomas, but for upper arms, the best codes are 24075 (Excision, tumor, soft tissue of upper arm...

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