Histopathology is a highly specialised area in pathology. Every specimen received is personally examined and reported by a specialist pathologist.
Histology samples can vary from tiny biopsies to entire organs that have been surgically removed. The tissue samples are preserved in formalin and sent to the laboratory. For larger samples, sections of these tissues are selected for tissue processing and embedded in paraffin. For smaller samples, the entire sample is embedded in paraffin. These paraffin blocks are cut into microscopically thin sections by the scientist using a microtome, and placed onto glass slides.
To enable viewing of the individual cells in the sample under a microscope, the sample is stained using a routine stain (haematoxylin and eosin). Some samples are stained using additional special stains and antibody markers, before being reviewed by our specialist pathologists.
Histopathologists also provide frozen section analysis in operating theatres in hospitals. This procedure allows the pathologist to conduct a prompt examination of small selected pieces of tissue while the patient is still in the operating room. The diagnosis of this tissue will predetermine the extent or continuance of the operation.