blood collection

​Specimen Collection

Common Tests

How to check your test results


This depends on numerous factors, including the complexity of the diagnosis amongst other things. The length of time for an accurate diagnosis varies from case to case. In most cases lab test results for become available approximately 10 days after a patient sample is received for processing by the lab. The diagnosis will depend on whether it is a biopsy or post operative specimen, as well as the complexity and need of additional testing. The length of time and additional testing does not necessarily reflect a severe diagnosis, i.e. benign or malignant can take just as long.

A pathologist is a medical specialist and physician who studies tissues and fluids under a microscope to identify and diagnose abnormalities.

A pathologist will examine patient samples, identifying abnormalities and ultimately rending a diagnosis. The pathologist provides a pathology report, which details the diagnosis, and enables the treating physician to decide on treatment options for the patient.

A pathologist completes four years of medical school, followed by a five-year post-graduate residency training program with and an additional year in a subspecialty program (minimum 10 years). Like all other physicians, pathologists are required to attend conferences and other continuing medical education opportunities to stay current and maintain their licensure.

It is a small tissue sample excised from the body. The abnormal tissue removed is often part of a lesion, tumour, or mass (often targeting an abnormality).

Tissue samples collected through a biopsy procedure are transferred to a specific chemical preservative based on the patient clinical history and the suspected pathology of the abnormal area. The most common chemical preservative used for tissue in a clinical laboratory is formalin, which maintains the integrity of the specimen while it is being tested. The tissue is embedded in paraffin wax to give it a structural matrix so it can be sectioned very thinly and representative sections mounted on a glass slide. Allied health professionals specialized in laboratory medicine procedure stain the sections, seal with a glass coverslip and submit to a Pathologist for microscopic evaluation and diagnosis.

In most instances the pathologist can render a diagnosis. However, some cases are more complex and will require further testing to be performed to arrive at a diagnosis.

In some cases, a number of pathologists will review the same slides and arrive at a final diagnosis.

Your treating physician should almost always discuss the results of your pathology report with you, and address any questions you have.

We are always willing to review patient samples sent from outside physicians and hospitals. The treating physician will be responsible for sending necessary documentation and patient material for secondary consult. Please contact Pathology Client Services for further information.

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