Shave or Excision?

Shave or Excision?

August 9, 2018

Question:
If I do a shave of a lesion and it comes back from pathology as a malignant lesion, can I bill it as a malignant lesion excision instead of a shave?

Answer:
No.  According to CPT, a shave is the sharp removal by transverse incision or horizontal slicing to remove epidermal or dermal lesions without a full-thickness dermal excision.  A lesion excision is a full-thickness removal of a lesion.  The codes for shaving of lesions (11300-11313) are broken down by site and size and are used for both benign and malignant lesions.  The correct CPT code for a shave should be reported.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 08/09/18.

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