[Histonet] Grossing large ellipse melanomas

Bob Richmond rsrichmond at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 14:04:27 CST 2019

Anne Murvosh HT at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Surgery in Washington state

>>We are starting to keep our melanomas in-house now that we have a better
processor, however I could use some tips or tricks on cutting large fatty
skin ellipse specimens. My problem I think, is too small a knife, the
specimens are not cutting even and the fat is getting in the way. So any
suggestions or links to grossing techniques would be appreciated. Also, any
ideas on better cutting utensils for these?<<

First of all, you need to work closely with your dermatopathologist on this
- you shouldn't be expected to get it right all by yourself.

You need to be able to photograph these gross specimens, and insert the
photograph in the report.

Gross the specimen as soon as you can, and then fix the slices overnight
for processing.

Cut on a good cutting surface in good light with a steady hand.

They make disposable long scalpel blades. These are expensive and a little
hard to find, and I've only ever seen them on two pathology services. Here
are two resources:

Cellpath - which I've used - excellent knives

Sakura - haven't tried these

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Maryville TN

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