ICD 10 Code for Abdominal Pain

ICD 10 Code for Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is a prevalent complaint among patients seeking medical attention. Rooted in various causes like infections, inflammation, trauma, tumors, and obstruction, accurately documenting and reporting the diagnosis and treatment of abdominal pain is crucial. This is where the significance of ICD-10 codes comes into play.

Understanding ICD-10 and Its Role

ICD-10, or the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, serves as a standardized system of codes that classify diseases and health conditions. It’s utilized not only for clinical and epidemiological purposes but also for statistical analysis, reimbursement, and quality improvement. In the realm of medical coding, ICD-10 codes play a pivotal role in effectively communicating diagnoses and treatments.

What is the ICD 10 Code for Abdominal Pain?

Within the ICD-10 manual, the classification of codes for abdominal pain hinges on the pain’s severity. This range extends from R10.0 (acute abdomen) to R10.9 (unspecified abdominal pain). The fourth digit within the code sheds light on the pain’s location, offering specific codes for upper, lower, and generalized abdominal pain. Adding depth, the fifth digit indicates whether the pain is localized or diffuse. Below, you’ll find a concise sample of ICD-10 codes for various abdominal pain types:

R10.0Acute abdomen
R10.1Pain localized to upper abdomen
R10.11Right upper quadrant pain
R10.12Left upper quadrant pain
R10.13Epigastric pain
R10.2Pelvic and perineal pain
R10.3Pain localized to the upper abdomen
R10.31Right lower quadrant pain
R10.32Left lower quadrant pain
R10.33Periumbilical pain
R10.4Other and unspecified abdominal pain
R10.81Abdominal tenderness
R10.82Rebound abdominal tenderness
R10.84Generalized abdominal pain
R10.9Unspecified abdominal pain

Best Practices for Abdominal Pain Coding

To ensure accurate and comprehensive abdominal pain coding using ICD-10, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Utilize sufficient codes to describe pain type, location, and severity.
  • Incorporate additional codes to identify underlying or associated conditions contributing to the pain.
  • Include code Z71.89 (Other specified counseling) when patients receive counseling on lifestyle modifications or dietary changes to alleviate abdominal pain.
  • Integrate code Z51.89 (Encounter for other specified aftercare) when patients are provided with follow-up instructions or referrals for further evaluation or treatment of abdominal pain.
  • Apply code Z03.89 (Encounter for observation for other suspected diseases and conditions ruled out) when patients are observed for conditions like appendicitis that are subsequently ruled out post-examination or testing.

Causes of Abdominal Pain:

  • Infection, abnormal growths, inflammation, obstruction, intestinal disorders, and diseases that affect the organs in the abdomen
  • Gastroenteritis, nonspecific abdominal pain, cholelithiasis, urolithiasis, diverticulitis, appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, gallstones, heart attacks, and shingles

Diagnosis of Abdominal Pain:

  • History: onset, duration, location, character, frequency, and severity of the pain; associated symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, blood in stool or urine, weight loss, or jaundice
  • Physical examination: inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation of the abdomen; signs of peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal lining), rebound tenderness (pain that worsens when pressure is released), guarding (involuntary contraction of the abdominal muscles), and organomegaly (enlargement of organs)
  • Laboratory tests: complete blood count (CBC), C-reactive protein (CRP), liver function tests (LFTs), electrolytes, creatinine, glucose, urinalysis (UA), lipase (an enzyme that breaks down fats), and pregnancy test
  • Imaging tests: X-ray (a type of radiation that produces images of the inside of the body), ultrasound (a type of sound wave that produces images of the inside of the body), computed tomography (CT scan; a type of X-ray that produces cross-sectional images of the body), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; a type of magnetic field that produces detailed images of the body), endoscopy (a procedure that uses a thin tube with a camera and light to examine the inside of the digestive tract), sigmoidoscopy (a type of endoscopy that examines the lower part of the colon), and colonoscopy (a type of endoscopy that examines the entire colon)

Management of Abdominal Pain:

Medications for inflammation, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or ulcers; antibiotics for infection; surgery for problems with an organ; over-the-counter pain relievers for mild to moderate pain; local or spinal injections for severe pain; changes in diet or lifestyle for certain conditions; counseling or referral for further evaluation or treatment
Adequate hydration and nutrition; avoiding foods or beverages that worsen the pain; applying heat or cold to the abdomen as tolerated; resting in a comfortable position; seeking medical attention if the pain is unexplained, persistent, or severe

Complications of Abdominal Pain:

Dehydration (loss of fluids and electrolytes); malnutrition (lack of nutrients); perforation (a hole in an organ); abscess (a collection of pus); sepsis (a systemic infection); shock (a drop in blood pressure); organ failure; death


Abdominal pain, while commonplace, demands careful and accurate coding to effectively communicate diagnoses and treatments. Embracing ICD-10 codes empowers medical professionals to consistently report and document abdominal pain conditions, contributing to improved clinical documentation, enhanced reporting, and streamlined reimbursement processes. By adhering to ICD-10 guidelines and leveraging available resources, the journey of coding abdominal pain becomes seamless and empowered.


  1. Code Your Way to Accurate ICD-10 Coding for Abdominal Pain
  2. Coding for abdominal pain should not give you a stomach ache
  3. ICD 10 Code for Abdominal Pain (2023) | Medical Billing RCM
  4. ICD-10 Codes for Abdominal Pain – DocCharge
  5. R19.8 – Other specified symptoms and signs involving the digestive
ICD 10 Code for Abdominal Pain
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