RE: [Histonet] Breast processing

From:Browning Deb

We have seen a significant improvement with all our larger specimens,
including fatty breast specimens, since we not only made fixation for 24
hours (minimum) mandatory, but we set up one of our processors (xylene, not
toluene) with a longer processing schedule.  Not only are our tissues now
fixed, but they are now processed as well. There are only 2 difficult things
about this:  first, convincing the pathologist that the delay is worth the
wait; and second, there seems to be a trend that the longer the tissue has
to fix and process, this must mean that the pieces in the cassettes can be
proportionately larger, right?

-----Original Message-----
From: Bliss, Mary E. []
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 4:19 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Breast processing

Hi All, 


How do other laboratorians  prepare fatty breast specimens for
histology?  Are you doing anything special?  We had a case today which
our doctor needs to have re-processed.  It appears unfixed, although it
sat in formalin on the processor over the weekend before it processed on
Sunday night.   The sections are large (too large in my opinion) and not
adequately removed of fat. We are using toluene on our processors and
have considered going to Xylene.  We have tried Penn fixx in the past,
but discontinued using it years ago.  I know it is a complicated
subject, but just thought I would see if anyone has any bits of wisdom. 



Mary E. Bliss

Lead Histologist

Northwest Pathology, P.S.

3614 Meridian St. Suite 100

Bellingham, WA 98225

(360)734-2800 x601

(360)734-3818 FAX



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