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Pathology is a branch of medical science that deals with the study of the nature and causes of diseases. It involves the examination of organs, tissues, bodily fluids, and autopsies in order to study and diagnose diseases. Pathology plays a vital role in nearly all aspects of medicine, including diagnostic testing, monitoring of chronic diseases, as well as advanced blood transfusion and genetic research technologies. It is also integral to the diagnosis of cancer.
A physician who specializes in pathology is known as a pathologist. They work alongside general physicians and any other specialists. They help other healthcare providers reach diagnoses and alert your doctor to any changes in your health. Many of the decisions about your treatment will be based on the results of your pathology tests. In most cases, patients never meet a pathologist during the course of treatment although their role is crucial. Pathologists will send the results of your test (pathology report) to your doctor, who will explain the results to you since the reports are written in technical medical language. The pathology report usually includes a general description of the specimen received in the lab, a detailed description of what the pathologist sees while examining the specimen, and the final diagnosis.
Some of the most common pathology procedures include:
After a pathology procedure, you should be able to leave the hospital or clinic right away. However, since it may take around 7 days until the pathology report is ready, it is advisable that you stay until the report is complete. Once the report is ready, you will need to meet your doctor who will explain the results to you, and possibly discuss the best treatment plan based on the diagnosis.
Recovery times vary, depending on the type of pathology procedures you underwent. Most pathology procedures do not require any recovery time, but it is recommended that you rest for the remainder of the day. After biopsy and bone marrow aspiration, you need to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for a week, and to take several days off work.
Soon after your pathology procedure, you will be given detailed aftercare instructions. Make sure to follow all of the instructions. The long-term aftercare following pathology procedure depends on the pathology report. You and your doctor will discuss a treatment or management plan based on the report. It is important that you undergo all the necessary treatment. You can choose to have these treatments in Singapore or back at home with your local doctor.
Pathology procedures are safe, highly successful, and is mostly accurate. The continuous advancement and deeper understanding of the field have made this possible. In the last century, we have seen significant reductions in numerous illnesses across the world, as well as major advances in blood transfusion, treatment, and vaccination, thanks to the pioneering work of pathologists. However, there is always a risk of inaccurate results. Some pathology procedures, such as biopsy, also carries the risk of bleeding, infection, pain, and injury to a nearby organ.
There is no alternative to pathology. It has a crucial role in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of all diseases.