If the physician excised a cervical lymph node, I would assign the lymph node code (38500 or 38510 . The cervical lymph node codes are based on depth as you are already aware of.
The physician makes a longitudinal incision over the tumor and dissects into the muscle where the tumor lies. He identifies the mass and dissects it off the muscles to which it is attached, ligating and incising any feeding vessels or arteries and protecting any nerves. He then irrigates the wound and places a drain, then closes the incision in layers.38510
When the patient is appropriately prepped and anesthetized, the provider adjusts the neck of the patient to improve access to the target area. The provider uses a scalpel to incise the skin and dissect the tissue overlying the target node or nodes, taking care to preserve critical nerves and other structures in the area. The provider then excises the lymph node or nodes and approximates the tissues in layers. The provider may place a drain and suture it to the skin to drain blood or other fluids while the wound heals. Finally, he closes the incision with sutures.
If the Provider didn't dissect a tumor and just an excision of a enlarge lymph node 38510 would be appropriate.