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How do you code for CO2 laser ablation of carcinoma in situ of the face?

Marla Posted Mon 22nd of July, 2013 15:01:24 PM

'Is is appropriate to use a dermabrasion code - CPT code 15781 if the operative note is dictated as C02 laser ablation of carcinoma in situ of the face(not full face-segmental)?'

SuperCoder Answered Tue 23rd of July, 2013 22:55:58 PM

Code this to destruction 17000-17250 series depending upon the exact symptom treated.

Coding for dermabrasion is based on the location and the size of the area. A powered rotary instrument is used to "sand down" or smooth scarred or wrinkled areas. This procedure lowers raised lesions or thins tissue to regenerate skin with a smoother appearance.

Use code 15780 (Dermabrasion; total face [e.g., for acne scarring, fine wrinkling, rhytids, general keratosis]) for the total face, 15781 (... segmental, face) for a segment of the face, and 15782 (... regional, other than face) for regional dermabrasion of an area other than the face. Use 15783 (... superficial, any site [e.g., tattoo removal]) for a superficial site, such as a tattoo.

Dermabrasion rubs away acne scars, actinic keratosis, hyperkeratotic lesions, or tattoos. Tools used include sandpaper, rotating abrasive drums, wire brushes, or diamond wheels. After administration of local anesthesia, the physician applies one of these tools to the skin. If necessary, a water paper is rubbed on the skin to further smooth the area.

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