Gross processing

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Author: Mikael Häggström [notes 1]

General notes edit

Following are general notes on selection and trimming in pathology:

  • Generally, use inking for resection margins where cancer radicality is important.[notes 2] Excisions made by laser do not need inking on the excision surfaces, since the coagulated surface can be easily identified in the microscope.[1]
  • Preferably photograph or make a drawing where slices have been taken.[2]
  • Remove any surgical stitches from samples before microtomy.
  • At least for larger samples, consider looking for medical imaging or biopsy reports in order to better guide the process.[3]
  • Generally, strive to make slices perpendicular to visible interfaces of different tissues.


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.
  2. Inking can be done with India ink, and will specify the serosa or resection margin in later histopathologic evaluation.


  1. Monica Dahlgren, Janne Malina, Anna Måsbäck, Otto Ljungberg. Stora utskärningen. KVAST (Swedish Society of Pathology). Retrieved on 2019-09-26.
  2. Monika Roychowdhury. Grossing (histologic sampling) of breast lesions. Topic Completed: 1 August 2012. Revised: 19 September 2019
  3. . Gross Pathology Manual By The University of Chicago Department of Pathology. Updated 2-14-19 NAC.