Insurance Claim Reporting

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Essentials of Skin Laceration Repair - Article

ABSTRACT: Skin laceration repair is an important skill in family medicine. Sutures, tissue adhesives, staples, and skin-closure tapes are options in the outpatient setting. Physicians should be familiar with various suturing techniques, including simple, running, and half-buried mattress (corner) sutures. Although suturing is the preferred method for laceration repair, tissue adhesives are similar in patient satisfaction, infection rates, and scarring risk in low skin-tension areas and may be more cost-effective. The tissue adhesive hair apposition technique also is effective in repairing scalp lacerations. The sting of local anesthesia injections can be lessened by using smaller gauge needles, administering the injection slowly, and warming or buffering the solution. Studies have shown that tap water is safe to use for irrigation, that white petrolatum ointment is as effective as antibiotic ointment in postprocedure care, and that wetting the wound as early as 12 hours after repair does not increase the risk of infection. Patient education and appropriate procedural coding are important after the repair.

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