The primary focus of the Surgical Pathology Laboratory is the examination of tissues. Specimens are received from a variety of sources: hospital clinics for small biopsies such as skin, core biopsies for the diagnosis of breast cancer, and the operating room where tumours are removed.
Due to the advancement in imaging technology, a high number of complex specimens and small tumours are found. Core biopsies are used to help diagnose lumps and bumps found at mammograms or during diagnostic imaging. Most specimens removed from the human body during surgery are sent to pathology for examination.
Specimens received are examined macroscopically (gross analysis) by the Pathologist Assistant or a Pathologist. These specimens are examined and then further processed as required under the direct supervision of a Pathologist.
Gross examination of tissue is completed at all four sites: Juravinski Hospital, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, McMaster University Medical Centre, and Hamilton General Hospital. The surgical pathology team consists of medical laboratory technologists, medical laboratory assistants, a technical specialist, pathologist’s assistants, and pathologists.
This laboratory uniquely has a frozen section intra-operative consultation service which is available 24/7 for all four sites. A Pathologist is on call 24/7.
We are a designated training centre for postgraduate trainees (residents) in Anatomical and General Pathology for McMaster University.