Lab Test

Sentinel Lymph Node Evaluation - Surgical Pathology, Troy

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Specimen Collection Criteria

  • Submit unfixed sentinel lymph node specimen for evaluation. Each sentinel lymph node should be labeled with the patient name, medical record number, date of procedure, specimen source. Each specimen container should be numbered.
  • In house sentinel lymph node specimens should be ordered in EPIC order entry. In the “additional orders” field input “SURGICAL PATHOLOGY TISSUE SPECIMEN(S) – OR/ENDO" and fill in all appropriate fields. Submit specimen(s) with the Operative Progress Note, which must include the patient name, medical record and visit number, date of birth, date of specimen collection, source of specimen, patient history and physician/surgeon’s name.
  • Offsite Surgical Centers: The pathologist must be notified ahead that surgery is scheduled at an off-site surgical center. The pathologist will handle the sentinel lymph node and ensure it is routed appropriately to the Surgical Pathology department.

Rejection Criteria

  • Improper labeling of a specimen container or requisition.
  • Specimens not accompanied by a requisition.
  • Requisitions not accompanied by a specimen.
  • Improper collection of a specimen (such as improper fixation).
  • Any specimen received without all of the required information can result in a delay of processing until all information can be verified.

Inpatient Specimen Preparation

The pathologist on-call for frozen sections is paged to surgery to examine the sentinel lymph node specimens.

In-Lab Processing

The pathologist handles the specimen in the frozen section room, and the results are reported to the surgeon.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Specimens are processed immediately upon receipt in the Laboratory.

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

All specimens should be stored in 10% Neutral Buffered Formalin.


Troy Surgical Pathology Laboratory


Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Intraoperative evaluations are reported immediately. Final results reported within 2-3 business days of receipt in the Surgical Pathology Laboratory. The Surgical Pathology Laboratory is closed on weekends and holidays.

Test Methodology

Cytologic scrape of fresh tissue.


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