Frequently Asked Questions
When Is Neuropathology Testing Useful?
Neuropathology, a specialty within pathology, focuses on studies of the body tissue related to neuro-muscular diseases. The neuropathology lab will review skin, muscle, nerve, ocular, spinal cord and/or brain tissue submitted by a physician. The laboratory will process the tissue as requested by the physician who submitted the specimen. After processing, the neuropathologist will examine this tissue under the microscope and provide information via the pathology report. The report is submitted to the practice that referred the specimen and any other physician practice that is requested by the referring physician or patient. This information is used to identify diseases that are visible in the submitted specimen.
How Does Neuropathology Testing Help Me?
- Having a biopsy of the skin, muscle, nerve, spinal cord, eye or brain will help you and your physician identify the disease, or changes in disease of the tissue. The finding of this disease will help you start a path to understand the condition, symptoms and treatments available.
- The neuropathology test often confirms and/or supports what is seen on physical exam or other blood/fluid testing. The biopsy gives you peace of mind that the symptoms are real and you are suffering from a diagnosed disease.
- Some of the neuropathology tests are quantifiable, such as the skin biopsy for nerve fiber density or teased fiber analaysis. This type of test can assist you and your doctor measure the significance of the disease at the time of the biopsy, progression of the neuropathy between biopsies and /or your response to therapy.
- Additionally, the results of the biopsies may help you and the physician decide the course of treatment.
What Are The Types Of Procedures Performed For The Neuropathology Tests?
- Skin Biopsy – small three millimeter punch of the skin, usually performed in your doctor’s office. Punch site is usually covered with a Band-Aid and healing is rapid.
- Muscle Biopsy – in a surgical setting, a small incision is made, generally in the arms and/or legs. The surgeon will gather a small amount of muscle tissue for analysis. A suture is used to close the incision. Usually a same day or out-patient procedure at the hospital with a small recovery time at home.
- Peripheral Nerve Biopsy – similar to the muscle biopsy above, the procedure is done in a surgical setting. The surgeon will remove a small piece of a peripheral nerve for analysis. This is also a same day or out-patient procedure for most patients with as recovery time at home.
- Brain/Eye/Spinal Cord Biopsy – These procedures are performed in the hospital by a specialized surgeon familiar with surgical procedures of these organs, such as a neurosurgeon. The recovery time is generally longer and may require a hospital stay for monitoring.
Why Should My Doctor Use Therapath For Neuropathology Testing?
Therapath is a commercial pathology laboratory that specializes in neuropathology testing. Therapath is different from your national or regional lab that might perform blood tests or general pathology services. Our team of technicians and doctors are trained in appropriately handling and analyzing biopsies for neuropathology. Not every lab is equipped to handle these very sensitive tissue samples. Therapath is accredited by the College of American Pathology (CAP). An accredited laboratory is one that is inspected by a private not-for-profit accrediting organization and the laboratory has met the highest standards of excellence.
How Do I Find Out My Results Of The Biopsy Testing?
Therapath’s neuropathologist will provide your doctor with the biopsy results within 14 days (most biopsy types) of your tissue arriving at the laboratory. Please make sure to schedule a follow up appointment with your doctor two weeks after the biopsy appointment for follow up.
Can I Obtain My Biopsy Results Directly From Therapath?
Therapath recommends that you contact your doctor first for the results so that they can review the test results with you in conjunction with your full clinical history and other test results. In the event that you need Therapath to provide the results to you or another medical provider, please contact our office for assistance.
Will My Insurance Carrier Pay For The Neuropathology Testing?
Yes, neuropathology testing is covered by insurance. Your insurance carrier will send you an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) after the biopsy has been analyzed to explain how they processed the claim. Reimbursement is paid in accordance with your benefit plan. If you have any additional unanswered questions, please contact us at Therapath for assistance.
How Do I Contact Therapath With Additional Questions?
Please contact us with any questions that you might have. Since many patient names sound alike, please be prepared to identify yourself with your identification information which can include an account number and/ or some personal information that the Therapath representative will ask for to confirm your identification. We want to make sure we provide the correct information to the correct person every time.
Telephone Inquiries: 800-681-4338 or 917-441-0006 (local)
Mail: 545 West 45th Street, NY, NY 10036