tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2009 Issue 12

Reader Questions: Save 21557/24077 for Malignant Neoplasms

Question: Codes 21557 and 24077 describe radical excision for the neck and arm, respectively. Per CPT, the examples specify "malignant" neoplasm. Can these only be used in the case of malignancy? If so, what should be used in the case of benign tumors, and what needs to be dictated in the report to substantiate the coding? North Carolina Subscriber Answer: You should not use 21557 (Radical resection of tumor [e.g., malignant neoplasm], soft tissue of neck or thorax) and 24077 (Radical resection of tumor [e.g., malignant neoplasm], soft tissue of upper arm or elbow area) for benign...

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