Surgical biopsy price restructure – Formalin jars available

Effective May 1, 2023, we will begin charging $35 for each additional biopsy sample from different locations on the same animal, except for multiple punch biopsies as explained below. 

For example, a skin mass from the head, with an additional skin mass from the leg and a subcutaneous mass from the abdomen from the same animal would be counted as three masses or $140 ($70 + $35 + $35).

Multiple punch biopsies from the same animal and submitted in the same jar will be counted as a single biopsy and be charged the standard $70 fee.

Additionally, biopsy samples that require increased amounts of technician/pathologist attention and/or specialized reagents will be assessed a sample processing fee. Examples of biopsy samples that will receive this $50 fee include: 

  • large biopsy samples (>15 cm in diameter), 
  • samples submitted fresh, 
  • whole spleens, 
  • whole mammary chains, 
  • samples that require decalcification (amputated digits, jaw/mandibles) or, 
  • any non-standard biopsy sample.

Only one sample processing fee will be applied to a given biopsy sample even if it fits multiple criteria for application of the fee. For example, a 20 cm diameter mass submitted fresh that requires decalcification would only be assessed one sample processing fee. 

How to avoid a sample processing fee

Biopsy samples
One of the most common examples of when the sample processing fee is applied is due to the submission of fresh biopsy tissues. This fee can be avoided by submitting the sample fixed in formalin. WADDL does offer formalin jars to fix fresh tissue for $30 for twelve 4 oz jars. Call 509-335-9696 to order the formalin jars.

Most surgical biopsy samples submitted for histopathologic evaluation can be submitted whole in formalin. If samples are greater than 15 cm in diameter, or are a whole mammary chain, and margin evaluation is not required, a single cross section through the entirely of the mass(es), no greater than 1 cm thick, may be sufficient for diagnosis. However, if margin evaluation is desired, submission of the entirety of the biopsy sample is recommended and the sample processing fee will be applied if the sample falls into one of the categories listed above. 

Field necropsy samples
Given the complexity of field necropsies and critical need of obtaining a diagnosis, histopathology on field necropsy cases is performed on a per animal basis. Please submit a full set of formalin fixed tissues, including brain, for histologic evaluation. Except for the brain, individual tissue samples should be no greater than 1 cm thick and placed into a leak-proof jar containing 10% buffered neutral formalin. Do not exceed a 10:1 formalin to tissue ratio. If additional ancillary testing is necessary (bacterial culture, parasitology, etc), submission of appropriate fresh, unfixed samples in separate sterile containers is necessary. If field necropsy samples are ONLY submitted fresh and subsampling by a pathologist is required, the sample processing fee will be applied to the case.

Special stains
WADDL continues to offer free special stains as required on your surgical biopsy and field necropsy histopathology samples ensuring you are receiving a sensitive and accurate diagnosis. 

If you have any questions on what to submit, we strongly encourage to call 509-335-9696 and one of our pathologists would be happy to answer your questions.