Collection Manual: Biopsy or excision specimen

Description: Tissue specimens (surgical biopsies) will be submitted in 10% formalin for proper fixation.


Formalin jar (pre-filled 40ml or 60ml. CAUTION: POISON, CARCINOGEN). Requisition form, marking ink or suture, biohazard transport bag.


1. Complete a requisition form. White copy to the lab. Lack of data may result in specimen delay or rejection.
Please include:
• Clinician name, location and date of service.
• Patient demographics: Name, address, phone number, date of birth and social security number.
• Insurance information: Copy of insurance card(s) or face sheet.
• Description of tissue including site, position, laterality etc. If multiple parts, label each A, B, C etc and
  provide corresponding descriptions.
• Relevant clinical history and symptoms.
• Requests for special stains, immunofluorescence, chromosome studies etc.

2. Label the biopsy jar(s).
• Write the patient first and last name and site description on the jar(s).
• For multi-part specimens label jars A, B, C etc corresponding to the sites described on the requisition form.


3. Mark relevant margins or areas of concern.
• Attach a suture or ink the specimen to identify margins or orientation if pertinent.
• Indicate clearly on the requisition form the significance of the suture or ink mark.

4. Immerse the specimen in formalin.
• Select the appropriate size container. Ten parts formalin to one part specimen is the advised ratio.


5. Verify that all lids are properly seated and tight.

6. Submit the specimen in a biohazard transport bag.
• Seal the jar(s) in the zip-loc portion of the bag and the requisition form in the outer sleeve.
• Place the requisition form in the outer sleeve of the transport bag.

7. Refrigeration is not required.

Biopsy specimens submitted in formalin are NOT suitable for chromosome studies. Refer to your clinical laboratory for collection procedures.