Surgical Pathology provides diagnostic services to the patients and physicians of Illinois. Our faculty and staff provide both general tissue diagnosis as well as special testing for tumor and prognostic markers. We perform our services in close collaboration with multiple other departmental units.
Surgical Pathology examines tissue for diagnosis. All tissue specimens are accessioned assigned a unique identifier. Faculty, pathology residents and pathologists' assistants examine tissue including dissection of complex specimens and determine which sections to submit for microscopic examination. Tissue for banking and special studies is also selected at this time. Small specimens procured for diagnosis (biopsies) are given priority with expedited processing. Complex specimens may require overnight fixation to stabilize tissue for further dissection and procurement of tissue for microscopic sections. Specimens needing decalcification may require additional time. Findings of complex specimens are documented by digital imaging.
Examination of most tissue specimens includes microscopic examination and this includes processing, embedding, sectioning and staining (microscopic) slides. This process typically takes from 18 to 24 hours to complete as tissue must be carefully dehydrated and then completely infused with paraffin to stabilize the tissue for sectioning and staining.
Once microscopic slides are prepared, surgical pathologists, fellows and pathology residents review the slides and construct diagnostic reports. This slide review to posting of a final diagnosis may take another 24 hours to complete and completion of reports for complex specimens requiring specialized studies typically requires additional time with most complex cases reported within seven working days. All cases are reviewed and signed out by surgical pathology faculty. Surgical Pathology does not post preliminary diagnoses.