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Dermatology Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Shave Off the Warts With 17110

Question: A patient was taken to the operating room for wart removal, due to the size of the warts. The dermatologist vaporized one wart on the right third toe and two on the left fourth toe. All areas were vaporized to a depth of 1.5 mm, and a margin was vaporized around each lesion. How do I code the procedure?

Colorado Subscriber

Answer: You can code with 17110 (Destruction [e.g., laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, surgical curettement], of benign lesions other than skin tags or cutaneous vascular proliferative lesions; up to 14 lesions).

Red flag: Be aware that it is for the first 14 warts destroyed, so you can only bill the code once, not three times. If the physician removes 15 or more lesions, you would submit 17111 (… 15 or more lesions) instead.