What is anatomical pathology?


The "anatomical pathology and cytopathology" or just "pathology" medical specialisation diagnoses the origins of lesions through the microscopic examination of tissue or cells.


The main activity involves examining all samples (cytology, biopsies and surgical specimens) collected at the Hôpital Foch during endoscopic examinations or surgical operations. The preparation of these samples involves a number or more or less time-consuming and complex technical procedures. The microscopic examination of these samples can clarify the diagnostic of a condition and the establish criteria for the optimisation of the treatment. A full report is established and included in the patient-file.


  • A "fresh-mount" examination is a rapid technique performed during a surgical procedure to provide the surgeon with an initial response which will inform decisions regarding the rest of the surgical procedure.


  • A standard examination requires that the tissues are fixed in advance. Sometimes a frozen specimen is useful to improve the precision of the diagnosis of the condition or for medical research after the patient has been informed of this.


Anatomical pathology plays an essential role in monitoring pulmonary, heart and kidney grafts performed at the Hôpital Foch.

It is primordial in cancer treatment: initial diagnosis, prognostic evaluations, monitoring and the diagnosis of recurrences or potential metastases.
This specialisation is also important for research into the development and routine use of new anti-bodies for use in new targeted cancer treatments