Clinical UM Guideline
|Subject:||Treatment of Keloids and Scar Revision|
|Guideline #:||CG-SURG-31||Current Effective Date:||04/07/2015|
|Status:||Reviewed||Last Review Date:||02/05/2015|
This document describes the medically necessary and reconstructive indications for the treatment of keloids and scar revision.
Note: Please see the following related documents for additional information:
Medically Necessary: In this document, procedures are considered medically necessary if there is a significant physical functional impairment AND the procedure can be reasonably expected to improve the physical functional impairment.
Reconstructive: In this document, procedures are considered reconstructive when intended to address a significant variation from normal related to accidental injury, disease, trauma, treatment of a disease or a congenital defect.
Note: Not all benefit contracts/certificates include benefits for reconstructive services as defined by this document. Benefit language supersedes this document.
Cosmetic: In this document, procedures are considered cosmetic when intended to change a physical appearance that would be considered within normal human anatomic variation. Cosmetic services are often described as those that are primarily intended to preserve or improve appearance.
I. Treatment of Keloids
Treatment of a keloid is considered medically necessary when there is documented evidence of significant physical functional impairment related to the keloid and the treatment can be reasonably expected to improve the physical functional impairment.
Treatment of a keloid is reconstructive when the keloid results in a significant variation from normal related to accidental injury, disease, trauma, or treatment of a disease.
Cosmetic and Not Medically Necessary:
Treatment of keloids is considered cosmetic and not medically necessary when performed in the absence of a significant physical functional impairment, are not reconstructive, and are intended to change a physical appearance that would be considered within normal human anatomic variation.
II. Scar Revision
Scar revision is considered medically necessary when there is documented evidence of significant physical functional impairment related to the scar and the treatment can be reasonably expected to improve the physical functional impairment.
Scar revision is considered reconstructive when there is significant variation from normal related to accidental injury, disease, trauma, or treatment of a disease or congenital defect.
Cosmetic and Not Medically Necessary:
Scar revision is considered cosmetic and not medically necessary when performed in the absence of a significant physical functional impairment, is not reconstructive, and is intended to change a physical appearance that would be considered within normal human anatomic variation.
The following codes for treatments and procedures applicable to this guideline are included below for informational purposes. Inclusion or exclusion of a procedure, diagnosis or device code(s) does not constitute or imply member coverage or provider reimbursement policy. Please refer to the member's contract benefits in effect at the time of service to determine coverage or non-coverage of these services as it applies to an individual member.
|11400-11446||Excision benign lesions [includes codes 11400, 11401, 11402, 11403, 11404, 11406, 11420, 11421, 11422, 11423, 11424, 11426, 11440, 11441, 11442, 11443, 11444, 11446]|
|12031-13153||Repair, intermediate complex [includes codes 12031, 12032, 12034, 12035, 12036, 12037, 12041, 12042, 12044, 12045, 12046, 12047, 12051, 12052, 12053, 12054, 12055, 12056, 12057, 13100, 13101, 13102, 13120, 13121, 13122, 13131, 13132, 13133, 13151, 13152, 13153]|
|14000-14302||Adjacent tissue transfer or rearrangement [includes codes 14000, 14001, 14020, 14021, 14040, 14041, 14060, 14061, 14301, 14302]|
|ICD-9 Procedure||[For dates of service prior to 10/01/2015]|
|86.84||Relaxation of scar or web contracture of skin|
|ICD-9 Diagnosis||[For dates of service prior to 10/01/2015]|
|709.2||Scar conditions and fibrosis of skin|
|ICD-10 Procedure||[For dates of service on or after 10/01/2015]|
|0HN0XZZ-0HNNXZZ||Release, skin, external approach [by body area; includes codes 0HN0XZZ, 0HN1XZZ, 0HN2XZZ, 0HN3XZZ, 0HN4XZZ, 0HN5XZZ, 0HN6XZZ, 0HN7XZZ, 0HN8XZZ, 0HN9XZZ, 0HNAXZZ, 0HNBXZZ, 0HNCXZZ, 0HNDXZZ, 0HNEXZZ, 0HNFXZZ, 0HNGXZZ, 0HNHXZZ, 0HNJXZZ, 0HNKXZZ, 0HNLXZZ, 0HNMXZZ, 0HNNXZZ]|
|ICD-10 Diagnosis||[For dates of service on or after 10/01/2015]|
|L90.5||Scar conditions and fibrosis of skin|
|L91.0||Hypertrophic scar (keloid)|
Description of the Condition
Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue in response to skin injury causing a raised, hardened section of skin. Similar to hypertrophic scars, keloids are bulkier and extend beyond the borders of the original site of injury. Keloids occur as a result of acne, burns, chicken pox, skin injuries such as surgical incisions, traumatic wounds, vaccination sites, or even minor scratches. Some keloids cause symptoms of pain and pruritis, and may result in hyperpigmentation and disfigurement. Suboptimal tissue healing can result in impaired function. The recurrence rate of keloids after excision alone has been reported at 45% to 100%. Additionally, the peer-reviewed medical literature notes that keloids may become larger in size after treatment.
Scar formation may result from healed wounds, lesions from diseases, surgical operations, or trauma. The amount of scarring may be determined by the size, depth, and location of the wound, the age of the person, heredity, and skin characteristics including color (pigmentation). Scar tissue may be associated with symptoms of discomfort, become hypertrophic, or breakdown. A contracture is a severe form of a scar and is commonly associated with thermal injuries. Surgical scar revision is a procedure intended to remove scar tissue by cutting it out (excising) and closing the area in a new configuration that restores function and corrects skin changes or disfigurement. The revisions may involve redirecting the tension lines with techniques such as W-plasty or Z-plasty. Some scar revision may involve more complex reconstruction using skin flaps and grafts.
Concepts of Medical Necessity, Reconstructive, and Cosmetic
The coverage eligibility of medical and surgical therapies to treat skin conditions is often based on a determination of whether treatment is considered medically necessary, reconstructive, or cosmetic in nature.
Treatments that may be effective and performed as monotherapy or in combination with other therapeutic regimens for keloids or hypertrophic scar tissue that cause significant pain or result in a significant physical functional impairment include, but are not limited to, intralesional corticosteroid injections (with or without 5-fluorouracil) (Asilian, 2006; Manuskiatti, 2002; Nanda, 2004), laser therapy and laser resurfacing with CO2, pulsed-dye or YAG lasers (Alster, 2003; Alster, 2007; Asilian, 2006; Bouzari, 2007; de las Alas, 2012; Hultman, 2013; Kwon, 2000; Mamalis, 2014; Manuskiatti, 2002; Tanzi, 2002), and surgical excision (with or without skin flap/grafting) (Atiyeh, 2007; Bermueller, 2010; Mofikoya, 2007). Leventhal and colleagues (2006) attempted to identify treatment regimens for keloids and hypertrophic scars with a "better-than-even likelihood of improvement." This meta-analysis of 70 treatment series for the various clinical measures showed a 70% chance of improvement with treatment; however, the mean amount of improvement to be expected was around 60%. There was no statistically significant difference between treatments. In a review article, Wolfgram and colleagues (2009) state there are diverse strategies for management of hypertrophic scars and keloids. Successful healing of these lesions can be achieved only with combined multidisciplinary therapeutic regimens; however, optimal treatment of these lesions remains undefined. Jin and colleagues (2013) performed a meta-analysis of 28 well-designed clinical trials with 919 subjects evaluating the efficacy and safety of laser therapy in hypertrophic scar management. The overall response rate for laser therapy was 71% for scar prevention, 68% for hypertrophic scar treatment, and 72% for keloid treatment. The 585/595-nm pulsed-dye laser and 532-nm laser subgroups yielded the best responses among all laser systems; however, the authors stated the level of evidence for laser therapy as a keloid treatment is low.
Hypertrophic scar: An elevated scar that is typically raised, erythematous (red, pink, or purple) and stiffer than the surrounding skin. Hypertrophic scars are more commonly found in areas of high skin tension, or on people with darker skin tones.
Keloid: A condition where a scar becomes raised above the flat surface of normal skin, has a hardened texture, and may grow beyond the boundaries of the scar.
Scar: A mark left in the skin by the healing of a wound, sore, or injury because of the replacement by connective tissue of the injured issues.
Peer Reviewed Publications:
Government Agency, Medical Society, and Other Authoritative Publications:
|Websites for Additional Information|
|Reviewed||02/05/2015||Medical Policy & Technology Assessment Committee (MPTAC) review. Updated Discussion, References, and Websites for Additional Information sections.|
|Reviewed||02/13/2014||MPTAC review. Updated Discussion, References, and Websites for Additional Information sections.|
|Reviewed||02/14/2013||MPTAC review. Updated Web Sites for Additional Information. Removed the Index.|
|New||02/16/2012||MPTAC review. Initial document development. Transferred and rephrased contents and coding that address the treatment of keloids and scar revision from ANC.00007 Cosmetic and Reconstructive Services: Skin Related.|