Burn Debridements

Burn Debridements

October 15, 2020

Question:
Our patient had full thickness burn of foot and has been having serial debridements to the bone 25x17cm. Patient returned to operating room for another debridement down to the bone then reconstruction of foot with a muscle flap. For the debridements prior to flap closure, is it appropriate to code 11044 and +11047 x units or would we use 15002/+15003 in addition to the flap reconstruction code?

Answer:
The 1104x codes are used to debride open wounds that will stay open and heal by secondary intention. That’s not the plan you describe. The plan in this case has been to debride in order to eventually close the wound. Therefore, all “debridements” are wound excisions and reported using the 1500x codes even on the day of the flap closure.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 10/15/20.

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