Debridement Prior to Skin Grafting

Debridement Prior to Skin Grafting

June 14, 2018

I’m taking a patient to the OR for debridement of a dehiscent surgical wound and will skin graft it for closure.  I’m looking at getting 11042 (debridement) and the skin graft codes precertified. Is this right?

Not exactly.  You’re right about the skin graft code(s).  However, we do not recommend the 11042 – 11047 codes.  These codes are used for wound debridement but only when you are debriding an open wound with no intention of closing it; you expect the wound to heal by secondary intention.  In your example, you will be closing the wound.  Therefore, the more accurate code is a surgical preparation code (15002 – 15005) for excision (note the term is not debridement) of the open wound to prepare a viable wound surface for grafting.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 06/14/18.


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