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What happens after my doctor performs a biopsy?
Your physician recommends a biopsy to better understand your medical condition. A biopsy involves removing a small sample of your tissue. After your doctor takes the biopsy, the tissue sample is placed in formal in (a special fixative which preserves your tissue). Here your tissue sample is evaluated and described. Specialized technologists process the sample through a series of chemical solutions and embed the tissue in a wax mold. With a special knife, the mold is cut into very thin slices which are mounted on clear glass slides. Thin slices must be stained with special dyes to make them visible for examination through a microscope by a pathologist. The tiny individual cells that make up tissue are now visible and can be evaluated. The shape and arrangement of these cells allow the pathologist to make a diagnosis. After the pathologist completes his/her diagnosis, a written report is sent to your doctor. Each tissue sample is unique, and some take longer to examine than others. Your physician will notify you of the pathology results and if further treatment is necessary. If your billing information is provided by your physician’s office, your pathology lab will bill your insurance carrier on your behalf. You may receive a bill from the lab for that portion of the test that is not covered by your insurance.