Surgical Pathology (Histology)

Surgical Pathology (Histology)

Request Form

  • Fill out Surgical Pathology Laboratory Order Requisition Form completely
  • Patient name on requisition must match name on container.  Do not use different variations of the same name (e.g. Jane Doe vs Ms. John Doe or Margaret vs Peggy).
  • Provide all required information.  This information is critical for an accurate diagnosis.

Specimen Handling

  • Observe universal precautions with all specimens.
  • Place specimen in airtight, leakproof container, making sure lid is on tightly.
  • Label container with at least two patient identifiers (e.g. patient name, date of birth, and/or medical record number) and specimen site/source must be identical to that on Request Form.

For Additional Help

Should you need help or advice in sending or preparing a specimen, you may contact the Pathology Department at the numbers below.

Phone: 715-847-2130
Toll free: 1-888-288-3375
Fax: 715-847-2133

Guidelines for Submitting Specimens

Routine Specimen for Standard Processing

  • Submit specimen in 10% neutral-buffered formalin
  • Container labeled with two patient identifiers (e.g. patient name, date of birth and/or medical record number) and site or source of specimen
  • Container brought to Pathology Department (Associates in Pathology) along with the completed requisition form

Generally, MOST specimens received prior to 4:30 pm will be processed the same day.

Larger specimens requiring longer fixation received after 3:30 pm might be held until the following day. Complex cases of special interest should be discussed with the Pathologist in order to facilitate same day processing.

Access to the Pathology Department is restricted after 5:00 pm. Specimens, including amputations, obtained after hours should be delivered to the Specimen Receiving area in the Reference Laboratory. Amputations will be delivered to the Pathology refrigerator by Reference Lab personnel.

Frozen Section or Intraoperative Consultation

  • Hand deliver fresh and NOT IN FORMALIN OR SALINE
  • Complete requisition form including the "Special Orders" for frozen section and operating room #
  • Specify part (A, B, C...) to be examined designating it with "FS"
  • Immediate evaluation not requiring frozen section technique should be ordered as "gross (intraoperative) inspection" (e.g. tumor distance from closest margin)
  • A Pathologist must be contacted if frozen sections occur after normal business hours, during weekends, or holidays.  For contact information, click here.

Non-routine Specimens including but not limited to tissue requiring non-formalin fixation or supported in a nutrient media, tissue requiring special processing, samples sent to reference centers for specialized diagnoses:

    Lymph node or other tissue sent fresh or in saline in a sterile container. Requisition must include request for flow cytometry.
    Send in saline. Requsition must include instructions for reference institution of choice (e.g. Marshfield Clinic or Mayo Medical Laboratories).
    Send in 100% alcohol (preferred) or fresh. Requisition should indicate suspicion for gout or evaluation for bi-refringent crystals.
    • Send fresh on a saline damp sponge.
    • DO NOT float in saline.  Muscle is isotonic and will absorb excess fluid resulting in a sub-optimal specimen.
    • DO NOT use muscle clamps.  Crushing injury to the muscle will result in a sub-optimal specimen.
    • DO NOT schedule procedure on a Thursday or Friday.  Prepared (flash frozen) muscle samples are received at Mayo Medical Laboratories Monday through Thursday. 
    • Send fresh or in saline.
    • Obtain under sterile conditions, if possible.
    • Requisition must include request for karyotype, cytogenetic testing, chromosome analysis, etc.
    • Send in Zeus media which can be obtained by contacting the Histology Laboratory.  If the Zeus media cannot be obtained before the procedure, the specimen can be sent fresh (no solution) or in sterile saline and delivered immediately to the Histology Laboratory.  An additional specimen should be obtained for routine pathology from the same site and submitted in formalin.

Supplies:  Prefilled formalin bottles are provided to offices utilizing Associates in Pathology's services.  To place an order, please call (715) 847-0075 or (888) 228-3375 or click here to submit an order electronically.