When our patients undergo a surgical or biopsy procedure, they often don't realize that their tissue sample goes to an area in the hospital called pathology.
Afterwards, when the diagnosis is shared with a patient, they might see that a lot of information came from something called a "pathology report," so that might wonder what that means, what tests were performed and what information this contributes to their care.
We want to shed a little light on the procedure and help our patients understand what happens to their tissue when it is whisked away, who looks at it, and what type of information is gathered.
All of that happens in pathology.
Our pathology department is part of a program with over 525 staff members. It's called the Laboratory Medicine Program and includes not only pathology, but other laboratory divisions, including hematology, chemistry, transfusion medicine and microbiology, among others.
There's a lot happening in the Laboratory Medicine Program, but right now we'll just talk about pathology and what happens to your tissue when it comes to the pathology department.
Within pathology, there is a whole team of pathologists, technologists and technicians who are all contributing to the complex process that provides your diagnosis. They are the behind-the-scenes health care team, providing important information to clinicians in support of your care.
Every health centre is a little different, but below is a general step-by-step guide to what happens with your tissue once it comes to our tissue pathology lab at UHN.