Services

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Biopsy Service

Telephone: Monday – Friday (9.00am – 5.00pm) PH: 9895 3477

After Hours: PH: 9895 3473

Specimen Collection

All specimens submitted for histopathological examination must be labelled and accompanied by a completed and signed request form. All requests that do not meet Eastern Health's minimum labelling requirements will not be processed until a 'precious specimen declaration form' is completed by the requesting doctor.

Routine Biopsies

Specimens should generally be placed in an adequate volume (at least 5x the tissue volume) of 10% neutral buffered formalin prior to dispatch.

Tissue for disposal

Any material to be discarded should be marked 'For Discard' or 'Audit Only' and be accompanied by a signed and completed request form. Limbs should be wrapped in double yellow biohazard bags and placed into an orange anatomical waste bucket.

Special Investigations

Certain specimens require special treatment and fresh specimens must be sent to the pathology laboratory immediately.

Please check the Pathology Handbook for individual tests for specific instructions.

Specimens may need to be placed into a sterile, plain container with no fixative. Samples may need to be sent to the laboratory by a certain time as they require send out to an external institution – Anatomical Pathology is operational during business hours. Examples include: specimens involved in clinical trials, muscle and nerve, core biopsies of kidney, skin punch biopsy for immunofluorescence, lymph nodes from patients with known or suspected lymphoma or unusual infection, tissues requiring microbiological or virological examination in addition to histological assessment or specimens requiring cytogenetic analysis. Whenever special investigation is required it should be clearly stated on the request form.

Consultation with the Anatomical Pathologist is essential for URGENT specimens or specimens with special investigations taken out of hours.

A courier service can be provided for the collection of specimens from external clinicians, and taxis may be used for urgent specimens.

Frozen Sections

A frozen section examination of fresh tissue is available if an intraoperative provisional diagnosis is essential for immediate further management. Prior booking with the pathology laboratory at least 48 hours before operation time is required to ensure a pathologist is available. Out-of-hours frozen section examinations are available by consultation with the on-call pathologist (contact via PH: 9895 3473).

For a frozen section examination the fresh tissue is sent immediately to the pathology laboratory in a labelled plain container with no fixative or formalin, accompanied by the request form. The request form should note the clinical and operative findings and also state a telephone number via which the frozen section result can be conveyed. The pathology laboratory should be notified on dispatch of the specimen from the procedure room. The pathologist performing the examination is available for consultation.