A Pathologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the study and diagnosis of disease. By analyzing blood, fluid, and tissue samples in a laboratory, Pathologist assist other physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and care of their patients..
If your doctor has scheduled a biopsy it means that there is an area or growth in your body about which he or she would like to have more detailed information. Most biopsies take place directly in your physician’s office or in an ambulatory setting. The specimen obtained from any kind of biopsy (whether it is a colon polyp, a skin sample, or a specimen from the uterine cervix) is then sent to a pathology laboratory for examination and interpretation. Once this is done the results are recorded by the pathologist in a formal report.
The following pathologic tests are among the most common, long-standing and well-developed procedures administered by healthcare personnel at PRW Laboratories: Surgical Biopsies (of many body sites), Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA), Pap Smears, and Skin biopsies. For a more detailed explanation of these procedures, please see Pathology Terms as well as work of pathologists..
PRW Laboratories designates a professional group of pathologists who provide medical and procedural services to a broad spectrum of other physicians. These include such specialists as dermatologists, gastroenterologists, urologists, otolaryngologists, and general surgeons. The pathologists at PRW are always available to consult with your doctor concerning the results of a particular biopsy or about disease processes in general.
Yes. For quality assurance, all of our pathologists are board certified by the American Board of Pathology, which means that they have achieved the required level of competence in their specialty as verified by a professional board. Three of our physicians also have additional certification through two other medical boards—the American Board of Dermatology and the International Board of Dermatopathology. Another consultant at PRW has earned subspecialty certification in cytopathology from the American Board of Pathology.
When your physician sends a specimen to PRW Laboratories to be processed and analyzed by one of our Pathologists, you and/or your insurance carrier will see a bill or copy of the invoice for the services rendered by PRW Laboratories. This bill represents the technical and professional charges of processing and interpreting your biopsy by one of our Pathologists. Because a pathologist evaluates each case individually, the fee structure varies according to the extent and complexity of the work involved (see pathway of a specimen for diagnosis). Each procedure done at PRW Laboratories has a specific code assigned to it with a certain fee associated with it, most pathology services are covered under most insurance plans. For more information see Billing Information under the “For Patients” Tab.
Depending on the urgency and type of analysis that is requested, the “turnaround” will generally take two to three days. Please keep in mind that some specimens may require special studies, such as immunohistochemistry or molecular analysis, which can add to time required for a pathologic diagnosis.
Your physician will be promptly informed with any abnormal results. In nearly all cases, the results of your pathology report will be discussed with you by your clinician in private as soon as the report is available. Please be assured that every necessary safeguard is in place at PRW Laboratories to maintain the confidentiality of your medical information..
Your doctor will help you understand the findings in your report. You can find some general guidelines for reading a pathology report and interpreting it in the explanation entitled how to read a pathology report.
Your doctor will help you understand the wording of the pathology report and there is a list of many of the pathology terms you will encounter in a typical report in our Pathology Terms..
We request that patients ask their referring physician for copies of their pathology report. The referring physician is usually the doctor who preformed your biopsy and who will discuss the results of the report with you.
A second opinion is frequently sought by either clinical physicians or patient. In fact, sometimes pathologists ask other pathologists for similar consultations. You should discuss the results of your pathology report with your doctor as soon as possible. For a second opinion, a 24-hour notice is required in order to allow for the collection of slides and reports, so that they will be ready upon your arrival. As slides are fragile material and in some situations are irreplaceable, we ask patients to adhere strictly to this time-frame each time they wish their slides to be sent out for another opinion. If your slides or results are evaluated by a different doctor, HIPAA regulations for your protection require that you fill out a patient release form, where you authorize the disclosure of your health information to the other doctor. This release form needs to be signed by you or by someone authorized by law through you to act on your behalf.