Laboratory and Pathology Services

PromisingCare’s pathology services meet the changing needs of the community by providing high-quality laboratory services. A team of 250 technical experts and client service representatives is available 24/7, and all of our laboratories are accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

About Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Pathologists interpret biopsy or cytology specimens, monitor laboratory tests, and help interpret the results of those tests. As well as interpreting biopsy and cytology specimens, pathologists also study disease. 

There are two sections in PromiseCare Pathology and Laboratory Medicine: clinical pathology and anatomic pathology.

Tests performed on blood, urine, and other body fluids fall under the scope of clinical pathology. 

Anatomic pathology involves the study of organs, tissues, biochemical, immunologic, and molecular processes to diagnose diseases.

Our laboratories conduct nearly 2 million laboratory tests every year in sections including clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, and immunohematology (blood banking).

An objective of a pathological examination of tissue is to provide an accurate, specific, and sufficiently comprehensive diagnosis in order to allow a treating physician to formulate an optimal treatment plan. Numerous tumor types, most of them with distinct biology, require an accurate diagnosis by a pathologist. A number of prognostic and predictive markers are also routinely included in pathology reports, allowing for the development of individualized treatment plans for patients. 

It is important to obtain sufficient tissue for a specific diagnosis of malignancy as well as for prognostic and predictive studies associated with many malignancies. In order to diagnose a medical condition or rule out certain illnesses, doctors need to collect evidence. Doctors can analyze your blood, body fluids, or tissue samples to detect irregularities in cells or chemical components in your body by using laboratory and pathology tests.

Laboratory data accounts for 80 percent of healthcare decisions, according to studies.

A doctor may need to monitor the progress of your treatment or determine subsequent treatments for certain diseases.

You may be ordered certain tests even if you feel healthy, so your doctor can establish a baseline for you.

Future tests will be compared to this baseline, allowing your doctor to identify any changes that may require closer attention.

Remember, abnormal results can show up even when you’re feeling fine. 

An exam by your physician does not reveal all the information that a lab test can. Under a microscope, pathologists examine tissue, cell, and fluid samples. Pathology tests include, for example, state-of-the-art ThinPrep Pap tests, which are better able to detect premalignant and malignant cervical conditions than standard Pap tests.

A modern medical staff can detect disease sooner and more accurately when using emerging technology. Hundreds of thousands of tests are performed every year by PromiseCare laboratories, so our technicians and pathologists have an extensive knowledge of the testing process. All laboratory services are licensed by the Department of Health Services of California and certified as CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment) laboratories.

Laboratory & Pathology Services Offered

With the most advanced diagnostic analysis tools available, our laboratory is dedicated to providing rapid and accurate results. Over the past two decades, we have provided superior service to physicians and patients at an affordable price. As part of our commitment to excellence, our laboratory staff work together as a team to serve our patients to the best of their abilities. Our Services Include:

Submission Of Tissue To Surgical Pathology

Obtaining histological information from tissues is essential for diagnosing and managing a patient’s disease process. To perform histology and other related tests that require fresh, unfixed tissue, the tissue must be handled correctly.

Specimen Identification

Our process includes an examination of the tissue with naked eyes physically examining, measuring, describing, and selecting representative areas for processing into slides to be examined under the microscope and other additional testing.

Generating Pathology Reports

A pathology report contains the results of examinations conducted under a microscope to determine the diagnosis. The report may also contain information about the size, shape, and appearance of a specimen as it looks to the naked eye. This information is labeled as the gross description.

Reports on pathology play a crucial role in cancer diagnosis, staging, and treatment options (describing the extent of the cancer within the body).

Amputated Limbs

Pathology tests are performed on an excised limb obtained in the operating room to identify disease and/or infection.

Bone Marrow Aspirations And Biopsies

A bone marrow biopsy and bone marrow aspiration can determine whether your bone marrow is healthy and producing the right number of blood cells. In addition to diagnosing and monitoring cancers and blood and marrow diseases, doctors also use these procedures to observe fevers of unknown origin.

Brain Biopsies

Brain biopsies are surgeries in which a small piece of brain tissue is removed for testing. Methods of removing the tissue include:

Stereotactic Biopsy

A computer helps locate where a biopsy will be taken, so that only a small hole in the skin needs to be made. 

Burr Hole: A small hole that is made in the skull over the biopsy site is called a burr.

Craniotomy: A piece of the skull is removed and the biopsy is taken before the piece is returned.

Endomyocardial Biopsies

Endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) is a procedure used to obtain small amounts of myocardial tissue for medical, research, and therapeutic purposes.

The interventional cardiologist threads a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) through a vein in your neck or groin then moves it into your heart’s right ventricle while you are under local anesthesia. Then, a small piece of heart muscle is removed for testing and diagnostic purposes.

Fresh Tissue

The specimens for intraoperative consultation (or frozen section), ancillary studies (such as flow cytometry, chromosome analysis, and/or special send-out testing), and muscle biopsy should be submitted “fresh” without fixative.

Hormonal Receptors

A hormone receptor assay determines whether breast cancer cells contain estrogen and progesterone receptors. Breast cells have hormone receptors, which pick up signals from hormones telling them to grow.

Intraoperative Consultation/Frozen Section

Pathologists evaluate tissue specimens taken from a patient as a result of biopsy or surgery on the following day, after the specimens have been adequately fixed in formalin. On occasion, however, surgeons may need pathologic information sooner, and will ask for an intra-operative consultation about the tissue that is being removed.

On the operating table, the patient undergoes the examination while under anesthesia. The process involves a gross inspection and, if it is a larger specimen, dissection. The pathologist may perform a frozen section (FS) on the specimen and examine it under a microscope based on the surgeon’s inquiry.

Muscle Biopsies

A muscle biopsy is a diagnostic procedure for diseases affecting muscle tissue. Cells and tissue from a specific muscle will be examined microscopically by your healthcare provider. The provider will only have to remove a small piece of tissue from the targeted muscle.

Peripheral Nerve Biopsies

The procedure of removing a small portion of a nerve for examination is called a nerve biopsy. A sample of nerve tissue is removed through a small incision and examined under a microscope. To diagnose nerve degeneration, identify inflammatory nerve conditions (neuropathies), or confirm a specific diagnosis, nerve biopsies are commonly performed.

Renal Biopsies

During a kidney biopsy, a small piece of kidney tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to determine whether the kidney is damaged or infected. To diagnose a kidney problem, your doctor may recommend a kidney biopsy – also known as a renal biopsy.

Routine Pathology Specimens

Tests on patients without immediate need for results are covered by “routine” turnaround times. In the laboratory, the frequency of testing may be varied: several times per day, once every day, every week, etc. Results are usually available within one to two days.

Kidney Stone Analysis

A kidney stone is a small, pebble-like substance that forms due to chemicals in the urine. When certain substances accumulate in the urine, such as minerals or salts, stones form in the kidneys. A kidney stone analysis determines the composition of a kidney stone. Kidney stones fall into four categories:

  • Calcium: the most common form of kidney stone
  • Uric acid: another commonly occurring form of kidney stone
  • Struvite: a less common stone caused by urinary tract infections
  • Cystine: a rare form of stone, generally caused by genetics

The size of kidney stones can range from a grain of sand to a golf ball. You pass most stones when you urinate. Large or unusually shaped stones can become stuck in the urinary tract and require treatment. Despite the pain that kidney stones can cause, they are rarely dangerous.

Having had a kidney stone in the past increases your chances of getting another one. You can find out what a kidney stone is made of by performing a kidney stone analysis. Using this information, your healthcare provider can devise a treatment plan to reduce the possibility of you forming more stones.

Tissue Culture

In tissue culture, fragments of tissue from an animal or plant are placed in an artificial environment in which they can continue to survive and function. Cultured tissues can be one cell, a population of cells, or a whole or part of an organ.

Tissues Exempt From Submission

Foreign Bodies that have no attached tissue, such as: 

  • Medical Devices, such as catheters, tubes, stents, that did not cause a patient’s illness, injury, or death. 
  • Instruments and hardware used in orthopedics and other radio-opaque applications
  • Radioactive therapeutic sources that should be removed in accordance with radiation safety requirements.
  • Medicolegal evidence, such as bullets or other foreign bodies, should be given directly to law enforcement officials. However, if the skin or viscera is removed, the tissue should be sent to pathology.
  • A bone is submitted to the bone bank
  • A bone removed as part of a corrective or reconstructive procedure (e.g. rotator cuff reconstruction, synostosis repair, spinal fusion)
  • Cataracts removed with phacoemulsification
  • Fat removed through liposuction
  • Ossicles of the middle ear
  • Venous saphenous tissue harvested for coronary artery bypass
  • A section of rib or other tissue removed to allow surgical access
  • Teeth without surgical tissue attached
  • A fingernail or toenail that is accidentally removed
  • A skin or normal tissue removed during cosmetic or reconstructive procedures (e.g. blepharoplasty, cleft palate repair, abdominoplasty) as long as it is not contiguous with a lesion and the patient does not suffer from malignancy
  • Excision of tissue that occurs incidentally to the procedure when disease is unlikely to occur (e.g., wound debridement with open fracture repair)
  • Specimens For Gross Examination Only
  • Hammertoes and bunions
  • Surgically corrected extraocular muscles (e.g. strabismus repair)
  • The nasal bones and cartilage that result from rhinoplasty or septoplasty
  • An adult’s hernia sac
  • Children’s umbilical hernia sacs
  • An injured meniscus
  • Varicose veins
  • Prosthetics, such as breast implants and heart valves (note that tissue attached should be examined under a microscope)
  • Newborns’ circumcised foreskin
  • Placentas from regular births
  • Placentas selected in accordance with the following additional criteria:
    • There is no significant clinical history
    • Request from a physician
    • The products of a caesarian section

Types Of Pathology Labs

Hospital Labs

Almost every hospital maintains a laboratory to support its clinical services. In most hospitals, pathology services would include both anatomic (surgery, cytology, autopsy) and clinical (laboratory medicine). It is common for hospital-affiliated physicians to perform tests on inpatients and many outpatients.

Reference Labs

Reference labs are usually privately owned, commercial facilities that provide both high volume and specialty laboratory testing (high complexity and/or rare). Physicians’ offices, hospitals, and other patient care facilities, such as nursing homes, refer patients for these tests. A reference lab is usually located at an external site and is used for specialized tests ordered only occasionally or requiring special equipment.

Public Health Labs

Public health laboratories are run by state and local health departments to diagnose and prevent epidemics of infectious diseases. A public health surveillance lab monitors the prevalence of diseases which pose a concern to the community, such as outbreaks of food-borne and water-borne illnesses or the detection of rare infectious agents.

Excellent service. Accessible. Community-Oriented. This is PromiseCare Laboratory & Pathology Services. 

The importance of finding a company you can trust is crucial when it comes to medical testing. We provide quality, convenient and affordable laboratory testing at PromiseCare Laboratory & Pathology Services! You can rely on us to deliver laboratory test results as quickly as possible to you and your doctors.

Laboratory and Pathology Services Frequently Asked Questions

The study of pathology is the study of disease, and pathologists are the doctors who interpret biopsy or cytology specimens, monitor laboratory testing, and help interpret that testing. The Department of Clinical Pathology conducts tests on blood, urine, and other body fluids.

Pathology is essentially the study of diseases. The purpose of a pathology laboratory is to assist physicians in performing laboratory tests and analyzing and interpreting test results.

As a branch of science, pathology studies diseases and contributes to aspects of care including diagnostic testing, treatment, and prevention of disease. A biopsy is a small section of tissue that is removed through surgery to be examined macroscopically or microscopically. Pathology laboratories examine biopsy samples for diagnosis and to determine the cause of a specific illness, such as inflammation (e.g. appendicitis) or cancer (e.g. colorectal cancer).