Monday, December 14, 2009

Frozen Sections

I'm so grateful for our pathology department here. Although we only have basic staining the experience brought here through the visiting pathologists is better than any fancy stain. Still, I can't help but wish for frozen sections. Frozen sections are done during the surgery and give preliminary results. For me this would help most when I'm looking at a mass and trying to decide if it's cancer and if I need to do a bigger surgery. Last week a 24 yo presented with what appeared to be ovarian cancer or pelvic tuberculosis. Hoping it was TB we just took biopsies and closed knowing if it was cancer it would mean more surgery. Well early this am the pathology came back cancer. The previous 3 patients we had done this on did turn out to have pelvic TB. But before I re-operate I'll have to make sure she'll actually be able to get chemotherapy. I don't think I'll ever get used to having to treat patients differently based on what they can afford. Although I try to maintain the highest standard of care, the care is still usually influenced by the finances of the patient.

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