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Cellular Pathology (folder)


Who we are

The Histopathology service is responsible for the study of human tissue. Medical Laboratory Secretaries, Medical Laboratory Assistants, registered Biomedical Scientists and experienced Consultant Pathologists work together to deliver the service across North Wales. Samples are received at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor and Wrexham Maelor Hospital, with our diagnostic laboratory located at Glan Clwyd Hospital, in Bodelwyddan.

What we do

The department receives a range of different samples, from small biopsies to bigger organ resections, with the intention of examining tissues and cells under a microscope, in order to help clinicians managing a patient’s care.

Small pieces of tissue are processed using various chemicals to produce a paraffin wax block. Thin sections are then cut from the block and stained to demonstrate nuclear and cytoplasmic detail of the cells, which enables the Pathologist to provide a clinical interpretation of the sample when the slide is viewed down the microscope.

We also deliver a range of additional tests that not only help in identifying a diagnosis, but also provide important information on the best treatment options for individual patients.

How long it takes

This process takes a lot longer than a routine blood test, typically between 5 to 10 days depending on the individual specimen. More complex or unusual cases may require additional tests, and some cases may require an expert opinion at another hospital, so may take several weeks for the final report to be prepared. 

Any questions?

Any questions regarding your histopathology tests should be directed to your GP or Clinician.


The Cytology department mainly analyses non-gynaecological fluid samples mainly from within the hospital. Specific instructions prior to submitting a sample will be provided by an appropriate clinician, if required. 

Samples can be submitted at all 3 main hospital sites, internal transport systems will deliver them to the appropriate lab for processing.

Cervical Smears

The cervical screening tests involve taking a sample from healthy women, searching for pre-cancerous changes within the cells of the cervix, or neck of the womb. Screening is performed on women between the ages of 25 and 65 years, on a 3-5 yearly basis in Wales. Any abnormalities detected are followed up or treated to avoid subsequent development of cervical cancer. Samples can be taken at GP surgeries or family planning/ sexual health clinics in the community, and gynaecology and colposcopy clinics within the hospital setting.

A reception facility runs for cervical smears with a small number or cases being clinically reported at Glan Clwyd Hospital. The service is currently situated on the Wrexham Maelor and Glan Clwyd sites, operating Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.

Further Cervical Screening information can be found on the Cervical Screening Wales (Cervical Screening Wales - Public Health Wales ( website or by contacting the local administration department on 03000 858279.