What You Need to Know About Biopsies

What You Need to Know About Biopsies

What You Need to Know About Biopsies

Have you ever had to provide skin or cell samples for the lab to do further testing in order to make a diagnosis?  Many doctors will take these samples so that they can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe you on the right course of treatment.  Biopsies are a common way to collect these samples that are sent to the pathologist, who works in pathology lab to perform these tests and make informed diagnoses.  

Sample Size and Location Are Important

When it comes time for you to get a biopsy, your doctor will already have a specific sample size and location in mind.  These two details help make your cell or tissue sample the best one for certain tests.  Because doctors are trained to already have a few diagnoses in mind before sending samples to the lab, they will likely be able to pinpoint the size and location of the biopsy they need to perform.  If the wrong location is used or the sample size is too small, physicians may be asked to repeat the biopsy again.

Testing Times Will Vary

Some biopsies will be more in depth than others, which means they will take more time for testing.  Others may be more routine, like a pap smear or cheek swab, and these will typically be returned quickly.  In order to do full analysis of more in-depth samples, the lab will require a few more days to perform all of the tests with the samples.  This will hone in on the diagnosis that best matches with the test results.  Sometimes, this involves multiple tests that rule out particular diseases before they find a match with the correct ones.

Some Samples Are Stored for Future Use

When a patient has been confirmed to have a tumor or malignant cell sample, these samples may be safely and securely stored for future use.  If they happen to have a course of treatment that isn't working or a reoccurrence later, these biopsies can be revisited and used for analysis in further testing.  Sometimes, lab facilities are required to store biopsies for future use.  This is true for cytology slides and Paraffin blocks used in testing facilities.  

Samples are Used Effectively to Make Diagnoses

A pathologist will be sure to use the biopsy samples to determine accurate diagnosis, which is critical to patients' treatment options.  Labs may also be able to determine the effective and most beneficial treatment to suggest by studying the samples for any genetic changes or hormone receptors that may affect treatment.  This information is also helpful in ruling out options to help the patient get healthy.

These are some of the facts that every patient should know about biopsies when they need to have samples sent to that pathology lab.  Often times, these biopsies are preventative and precautious measures that doctors to take to rule out any issues.  As a lab consultant, we understand the inner workings of lab facilities and provide the best pathology lab solutions in order to create efficient and timely results for patients.  Contact us to hear about how we can help your lab find the right solutions today.

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