All tissue and foreign bodies removed during a surgical procedure shall be sent to the pathology laboratory for examination except for the following categories. These exceptions may be invoked by the attending surgeon only when the quality of care is not compromised by the exception when another suitable means of verification of the removal is routinely employed and when there is an authenticated operative or other official report that documents the removal. The categories of specimens that may be exempted from pathological examination are the following:
(A) Specimens that by their nature or condition do not permit fruitful examination, such as cataract, orthopedic appliance, foreign body, or portion of rib removed only to enhance operative exposure;
(B) Therapeutic radioactive sources, the removal of which shall be guided by radiation safety monitoring requirements;
(C) Traumatically injured members that have been amputated and for which examination for either medical or legal reasons is not deemed necessary;
(D) Foreign bodies (for example bullets) that for legal reasons are given directly in the chain of custody to law enforcement representatives.
(E) Specimens known to rarely if ever show pathological change, and removal of which is highly visible postoperatively.
(F) Teeth, provided the number including fragments is recorded in the medical record.
(G) Specimens for gross only examination.
(H) Medical devices. Soft tissue accompanying medical devices may be submitted for microscopic examination if deemed appropriate by the pathologist.
(I) Foreign bodies that are hard and cannot be decalcified. Accompanying soft tissue may be submitted for microscopic examination if deemed appropriate by the pathologist.
(J) Portions of bone removed from feet for bunions/hammer toes, if microscopic exam deemed unnecessary by pathology.
(K) Portions of rib removed for operative exposure only and not designated "disposal only." At the pathologist's discretion, marrow samples from such ribs may be submitted for microscopic examination.
(L) Nasal bone and cartilage removed for deviated septum (does not apply if deviation due to neoplastic or inflammatory process). If soft tissue accompanies nasal bone and cartilage, it may be examined at pathologist's discretion.
(Board approval dates: 11/4/2005, 4/6/2016)