Coding for Full-Thickness Skin Grafts

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July 24, 2014

Question:

Patient has a large skin cancer on the nose. I excised it and repaired the wound with a full thickness skin graft. Donor site for the skin graft was the ear, which was closed by mobilizing skin flaps. We billed 11643 for the excision and 15260 for the graft. Is this correct?

Answer:

Yes, the excision of skin lesion is not included in the full-thickness skin graft codes like it is included in the adjacent tissue transfer codes. You may report a code for the excision of lesion (116xx, depending on size of the lesion plus most narrow margins) as well as for the full thickness skin graft (15260). The primary closure is included in 15260 and not separately reported.