This article reviews codes and guidelines for excision of skin lesions. For additional information about minor procedures, see the additional resources at the bottom of this page.
Excision of skin lesions are reported using codes from the integumentary section:
Excision of benign lesions: 11400—11471
Excision of malignant lesions: 11600—11646
- Measure the size of the excision which includes the widest measurement of the lesion and the two narrowest margins. For a keyhole excision do not include the longest margins. This is the pre-planned, marked excision.
- Document the size of the excision and the location.
- In the OR, if specimen is sent for pathology, use the size of the actual excision
Closure after excision that requires more than simple closure is reported separately. If the closure of the lesion is intermediate or complex described it in the procedure note. CPT® allows it to be reported; Medicare does not pay in addition to the excision. Wait for pathology to select the code.
Watch Betsy’s 60 minute on-demand webinar “Coding Skin Procedures” for a review of coding common skin procedures and correct use of modifiers with multiple procedures. Webinars are free for members.