Excision vs. removal of a skin lesion


Fam Pract Manag. 2012 Mar-Apr;19(2):8.

The skin procedures encounter form on your website is helpful but needs a slight clarification. “Excision” is not the same as “lesion completely removed.” Instead, excision is the medically necessary, full thickness (down to the fat), complete removal of a lesion. For example, many nevi can be “removed” completely by saucerization or shave into the dermis. This is removal, but it is not excision. An excisional punch to fat, or ellipse to fat, is excision; this should be distinguished from “incisional” punch evaluation, the sampling or incomplete removal of a lesion, which is always coded as a biopsy (11100), even if it is full thickness to fat.

Editor’s note:

Thank you for the feedback. The “Common Skin Procedure Form” has been updated accordingly and can be downloaded from our website.


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