Learn More About Our Clinical Pathology Labs
When you need special testing to look for signs of disease or particular conditions, you want a clinical pathology lab you can trust. Luckily for Atlanta, GA-area residents, GI Specialists of Georgia offers state-of-the-art pathology labs for our patients. Opened in 2008, our labs go above and beyond the minimum required state licensure. We’re accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and adhere to numerous additional safety and quality requirements. However, patients are often unaware of what makes a pathology lab tick. Before you utilize our pathologists’ expertise, learn a little more about what we do at our lab. Look for the answer to your question below or contact us for a clear, concise response.
What Is a Pathologist?
A pathologist is a healthcare professional instrumental in making accurate diagnoses. They do this by extensively studying body fluids and tissue using laboratory tests. For example, a pathologist might perform a tissue biopsy and decide whether it’s cancerous or benign. They might continually monitor patients’ health, or they might help you prevent future illnesses and keep up good health habits. Yet other pathologists specialize in subfields, such as genetic testing. At GI Specialists of Georgia, our pathologist, Dr. O’Rourke, has been in the practice since 1978, making a difference in countless patients’ lives.
What Is a Biopsy?
When we recommend biopsies at GI Specialists of Georgia, we find that many patients don’t know exactly what that entails. They’ve heard the word and have a general understanding, but they’re not quite sure what a biopsy means for them. In short, a biopsy is a small tissue sample we send off to our clinical pathology lab for analysis. Our pathologists are able to look at the sample more closely for any abnormalities. These could include tumors, benign masses, lesions, and more. As we examine the tissue, we’ll determine if the tissue poses a danger to your health and recommend next steps. A biopsy is often instrumental in deciding on the next step for a patient.
How Is a Biopsy Performed?
Depending on the type of biopsy you need, the procedure is performed in a different way. Most of the time, we can access the correct tissue using a needle. However, other patients must undergo a CT scan or ultrasound to find the tissue in question. Because GI Specialists of Georgia is most concerned with the gastrointestinal tract, we specialize in biopsies in that region of the body. A liver biopsy, for example, involves a needle injected into the liver through the skin. In some cases, patients may need to undergo a surgical biopsy to located tissue in places unreachable with a needle. Although this procedure may seem painful, we’ll ensure you’re given the proper sedatives and pain medication to keep discomfort to a minimum.
What Is a Histotechnologist?
Many of us have seldom heard of a histotechnologist. Nevertheless, these medical professionals are a crucial part of a pathology lab. They work to prepare biopsied tissue samples for analysis by a pathologist. Histotechnologists are specially trained to work through a complex process, involving staining, processing, trimming, and much more to get the sample ready. These healthcare professionals might perform any tests our doctors request and properly preserve the sample to stop it from decomposing. Histotechnology is very meticulous, detail-oriented work. Although you may not have heard of this healthcare field, these professionals are integral to diagnosing severe diseases.
When Do I Need Clinical Pathology Labs?
Clinical pathology labs might be recommended for any number of reasons. Typically, the team at GI Specialists of Georgia will suggest a biopsy when we find other signs of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract. Although biopsies are most commonly associated with cancer, they’re also utilized to diagnose a broad spectrum of conditions. Biopsies can detect hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver. Elsewhere in the body, biopsies might be used to identify breast cancer, melanoma, and other dangerous forms of tumors and growths. If you’re exhibiting the telltale signs of cancer or your Atlanta, GA doctor has found a potentially cancerous mass, it’s likely time for a clinical pathology lab.