debridement using electrocautery

The surgeon documented "I debrided all necrotic tissue away from the heel ulcer using electrocautery. The result in debridement was 4 X 3 X 2 cm of skin, subcutaneous tissue, and fascia. The debridement was carried down to the calcaneus back to viable tissue. Is this excisional or nonexcisional?


  • documentation standard for coding excisional debridement in ICD-10-PCS is the same as it is for ICD-9-CM. As with ICD-9-CM, the words "sharp debridement" are not enough to code the root operation Excision. A code is assigned for excisional debridement when the provider documents "excisional debridement," and/or the documentation meets the root operation definition of "excision" (cutting out or off, without replacement, a portion of a body part).

     Exisional debridement definition                                              

          ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding Clinic, Third Quarter ICD-10 2015 Pages: 4-5 Effective with discharges: October 7, 2015

    Electrocautery, also known as thermal cautery, refers to a process in which a direct or alternating current is passed through a resistant metal wire electrode, generating heat. The heated electrode is then applied to living tissue to achieve hemostasis or varying degrees of tissue destruction.

    Hope this helps:)

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