The Cellular Pathology Department incorporates a number of disciplines including histopathology, cytopathology, neuropathology and anatomical pathology.
The laboratory's primary function is to examine tissue and fluid samples from patients in order to make a diagnosis and guide a patient’s further management, particularly in the field of cancer. In addition the department undertakes a number of autopsies in order to establish the cause of death.
The Cellular Pathology Department receives approximately 30,000 surgical biopsies, 31,000 cervical smears, 3,000 fluid samples and undertakes approximately 1600 postmortem examinations each year.
Staff at the laboratory perform a range of tests on tissue samples, in addition to standard light microscope techniques, in order to determine the nature of the patient’s disease. Techniques employed may include the application of special stains, immunocytochemistry, electron microscopy and in-situ hybridisation. A major part of the work involves the diagnosis of cancer and pre-cancerous conditions, enabling doctors to give the best type of treatment to their patients.
The majority of biopsies and resections do not require numerous additional tests and will be reported within seven days. Most fluid samples within three days.
Access to the Cellular Pathology computer system is available at various locations within the hospital, allowing results to be viewed as soon as they are available.
The department is located on Level 04 and we are open from 0830 to 1730hrs Monday to Friday for all areas, except for the mortuary which is open between 0800 and 1630hrs Monday to Thursday and between 0800 and 1600hrs on Friday. Outside these hours emergency on-call services are available.
The department is staffed by 10 Consultant Histopathologists who cover all the main areas of specialism, with the exclusion of paediatric pathology, but including specialist areas such as renal pathology, sarcoma pathology and neuropathology. The pathologists work closely with their clinical colleagues in multi-disciplinary teams where decisions are made on patient care.