2021 ICD-10-CM Code P78.83

Newborn esophageal reflux

Version 2021
Billable Code

Valid for Submission

P78.83 is a billable diagnosis code used to specify a medical diagnosis of newborn esophageal reflux. The code P78.83 is valid during the fiscal year 2021 from October 01, 2020 through September 30, 2021 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

The ICD-10-CM code P78.83 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like acid reflux, digestive system reflux, duodenogastric reflux, esophageal reflux finding, esophageal reflux finding , esophagogastric ulcer, etc.

ICD-10:P78.83
Short Description:Newborn esophageal reflux
Long Description:Newborn esophageal reflux

Code Classification

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 P78.83:


Inclusion Terms

Inclusion Terms
These terms are the conditions for which that code is to be used. The terms may be synonyms of the code title, or, in the case of "other specified" codes, the terms are a list of the various conditions assigned to that code. The inclusion terms are not necessarily exhaustive. Additional terms found only in the Alphabetic Index may also be assigned to a code.

Index to Diseases and Injuries

The Index to Diseases and Injuries is an alphabetical listing of medical terms, with each term mapped to one or more ICD-10 code(s). The following references for the code P78.83 are found in the index:

Approximate Synonyms

The following clinical terms are approximate synonyms or lay terms that might be used to identify the correct diagnosis code:

Convert P78.83 to ICD-9 Code

The General Equivalency Mapping (GEM) crosswalk indicates an approximate mapping between the ICD-10 code P78.83 its ICD-9 equivalent. The approximate mapping means there is not an exact match between the ICD-10 code and the ICD-9 code and the mapped code is not a precise representation of the original code.

Information for Patients


Reflux in Infants

Also called: GER in Infants, GERD in infants, Pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux

What are reflux (GER) and GERD?

The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. If your baby has reflux, his or her stomach contents come back up into the esophagus. Another name for reflux is gastroesophageal reflux (GER).

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is a more serious and long-lasting type of reflux. Babies may have GERD if their symptoms prevent them from feeding or if the reflux lasts more than 12 to 14 months.

What causes reflux and GERD in infants?

There is a muscle (the lower esophageal sphincter) that acts as a valve between the esophagus and stomach. When your baby swallows, this muscle relaxes to let food pass from the esophagus to the stomach. This muscle normally stays closed, so the stomach contents don't flow back into the esophagus.

In babies who have reflux, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle is not fully developed and lets the stomach contents back up the esophagus. This causes your baby to spit up (regurgitate). Once his or her sphincter muscle fully develops, your baby should no longer spit up.

In babies who have GERD, the sphincter muscle becomes weak or relaxes when it shouldn't.

How common are reflux and GERD in infants?

Reflux is very common in babies. About half all babies spit up many times a day in the first 3 months of their lives. They usually stop spitting up between the ages of 12 and 14 months.

GERD is also common in younger infants. Many 4-month-olds have it. But by their first birthday, only 10 percent of babies still have GERD.

What are the symptoms of reflux and GERD in infants?

In babies, the main symptom of reflux and GERD is spitting up. GERD may also cause symptoms such as

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

How do doctors diagnose reflux and GERD in infants?

In most cases, a doctor diagnoses reflux by reviewing your baby's symptoms and medical history. If the symptoms do not get better with feeding changes and anti-reflux medicines, your baby may need testing.

Several tests can help a doctor diagnose GERD. Sometimes doctors order more than one test to get a diagnosis. Common tests include

What feeding changes can help treat my infant's reflux or GERD?

Feeding changes may help your baby's reflux and GERD:

What treatments might the doctor give for my infant's GERD?

If feeding changes do not help enough, the doctor may recommend medicines to treat GERD. The medicines work by lowering the amount of acid in your baby's stomach. The doctor will only suggest medicine if your baby still has regular GERD symptoms and

The doctor will often prescribe a medicine on a trial basis and will explain any possible complications. You shouldn't give your baby any medicines unless the doctor tells you to.

Medicines for GERD in babies include

If these don't help and your baby still has severe symptoms, then surgery might be an option. Pediatric gastroenterologists only use surgery to treat GERD in babies in rare cases. They may suggest surgery when babies have severe breathing problems or have a physical problem that causes GERD symptoms.


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Uncommon Infant and Newborn Problems

It can be scary when your baby is sick, especially when it is not an everyday problem like a cold or a fever. You may not know whether the problem is serious or how to treat it. If you have concerns about your baby's health, call your health care provider right away.

Learning information about your baby's condition can help ease your worry. Do not be afraid to ask questions about your baby's care. By working together with your health care provider, you make sure that your baby gets the best care possible.


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Code History

  • FY 2021 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2020 through 9/30/2021
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016 (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)