ICD-10-CM Code K81

Cholecystitis

Version 2020 Non-Billable Code

Not Valid for Submission

K81 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of cholecystitis. The code is NOT valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

ICD-10:K81
Short Description:Cholecystitis
Long Description:Cholecystitis

Consider the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity:

  • K81.0 - Acute cholecystitis
  • K81.1 - Chronic cholecystitis
  • K81.2 - Acute cholecystitis with chronic cholecystitis
  • K81.9 - ... unspecified

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code K81:

Use Additional Code

Use Additional Code
The “use additional code” indicates that a secondary code could be used to further specify the patient’s condition. This note is not mandatory and is only used if enough information is available to assign an additional code.
  • code if applicable for associated gangrene of gallbladder K82.A1 K82.A2

Type 1 Excludes

Type 1 Excludes
A type 1 excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" An Excludes1 note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 is used when two conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired form of the same condition.
  • cholecystitis with cholelithiasis K80

Clinical Information

  • CHOLECYSTITIS-. inflammation of the gallbladder; generally caused by impairment of bile flow gallstones in the biliary tract infections or other diseases.
  • CHOLECYSTITIS ACUTE-. acute inflammation of the gallbladder wall. it is characterized by the presence of abdominal pain; fever; and leukocytosis. gallstone obstruction of the cystic duct is present in approximately 90% of the cases.
  • EMPHYSEMATOUS CHOLECYSTITIS-. a variant of acute cholecystitis with inflammation of the gallbladder that is characterized by the pockets of gas in the gallbladder wall. it is due to secondary infection caused by gas forming organisms and has a high risk of perforation.
  • ACALCULOUS CHOLECYSTITIS-. inflammation of the gallbladder wall in the absence of gallstones.

Code Classification

  • Diseases of the digestive system (K00–K93)
    • Disorders of gallbladder, biliary tract and pancreas (K80-K87)
      • Cholecystitis (K81)

Code History

  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016
    (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020

Information for Patients


Gallbladder Diseases

Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under your liver. It stores bile, a fluid made by your liver to digest fat. As your stomach and intestines digest food, your gallbladder releases bile through a tube called the common bile duct. The duct connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestine.

Your gallbladder is most likely to give you trouble if something blocks the flow of bile through the bile ducts. That is usually a gallstone. Gallstones form when substances in bile harden. Rarely, you can also get cancer in your gallbladder.

Many gallbladder problems get better with removal of the gallbladder. Fortunately, you can live without a gallbladder. Bile has other ways of reaching your small intestine.


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