ICD-10-CM Code Z18

Retained foreign body fragments

Version 2020 Non-Billable Code

Not Valid for Submission

Z18 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of retained foreign body fragments. The code is NOT valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

Short Description:Retained foreign body fragments
Long Description:Retained foreign body fragments

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

  • Z18.0 - Retained radioactive fragments
  • Z18.01 - Retained depleted uranium fragments
  • Z18.09 - Other retained radioactive fragments
  • Z18.1 - Retained metal fragments
  • Z18.10 - Retained metal fragments, unspecified
  • Z18.11 - Retained magnetic metal fragments
  • Z18.12 - Retained nonmagnetic metal fragments
  • Z18.2 - Retained plastic fragments
  • Z18.3 - Retained organic fragments
  • Z18.31 - Retained animal quills or spines
  • Z18.32 - Retained tooth
  • Z18.33 - Retained wood fragments
  • Z18.39 - Other retained organic fragments
  • Z18.8 - Other specified retained foreign body
  • Z18.81 - Retained glass fragments
  • Z18.83 - Retained stone or crystalline fragments
  • Z18.89 - Other specified retained foreign body fragments
  • Z18.9 - ... unspecified material

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 Z18:


This note appears immediately under a three character code title to further define, or give examples of, the content of the category.
  • embedded fragment (status)
  • embedded splinter (status)
  • retained foreign body status

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.
  • artificial joint prosthesis status Z96.6
  • foreign body accidentally left during a procedure T81.5
  • foreign body entering through orifice T15 T19
  • in situ cardiac device Z95
  • organ or tissue replaced by means other than transplant Z96 Z97
  • organ or tissue replaced by transplant Z94
  • personal history of retained foreign body fully removed Z87.821
  • superficial foreign body (non-embedded splinter) - code to superficial foreign body, by site

Code Classification

  • Factors influencing health status and contact with health services (Z00–Z99)
    • Retained foreign body fragments (Z18)
      • Retained foreign body fragments (Z18)

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

Foreign Bodies

If you've ever gotten a splinter or had sand in your eye, you've had experience with a foreign body. A foreign body is something that is stuck inside you but isn't supposed to be there. You may inhale or swallow a foreign body, or you may get one from an injury to almost any part of your body. Foreign bodies are more common in small children, who sometimes stick things in their mouths, ears, and noses.

Some foreign bodies, like a small splinter, do not cause serious harm. Inhaled or swallowed foreign bodies may cause choking or bowel obstruction and may require medical care.

[Learn More]