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Axillary Lump


Question

Please advise on how to code an axillary lump. Should we use the generic 782.2 code, or assume it is a breast lump and use that code?

Answer

This is one of those instances where the coder will need to make the decision. You did not mention what test was being ordered or service provided which may also be of some help in making the decision.  For example, if the patient is undergoing an x-ray, 782.2 would be questionable since this code is indicative of a lump or mass of the skin/subcutaneous tissue. Coding this to a breast lump is questionable as the axilla is not truly considered breast tissue.  That leaves coding this to a lump/mass of the chest 786.6.  

Disclaimer: All articles intended for general consumption only and not as a recommendation for a specific situation. Readers should consult an official source (AHA, AMA, etc.) or a qualified attorney for specific legal guidance.
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