Surgical Pathology

Our Surgical Pathology division provides comprehensive services in all areas of anatomical pathology through a coordinated network of laboratories.  These are located in the five largest South Australian public hospitals; the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Lyell McEwin Hospital and Women's and Children's Hospital.

Services are provided to all public hospitals as well as to metropolitan, regional, and rural medical practitioners within South Australia.

Clinical consultation

On-call clinical consultation phone: 08 8222 3000

Consultative advice and on-call services are available to clinicians to optimise case management and ensure the most appropriate investigations are performed. 

The Surgical Pathology division has a number of nationally and internationally recognised experts in soft tissue pathology, pleuro-pulmonary pathology, oral pathology, breast and gynaecological pathology, to whom difficult cases are referred in consultation.

Diagnostic services

We provide a full range of diagnostic surgical pathology, including dermatopathology, gastrointestinal pathology, gynaecological pathology, breast pathology, renal pathology, neuropathology, ocular pathology, oral pathology and paediatric pathology.

Histological diagnosis is supported by a wide range of ancillary techniques where required. Techniques include special histochemical stains, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation, cytogenetic analysis, cell marker (flow cytometry) studies and ultrastructural examination.  Breast cases requiring assessment of HER2 amplification are referred from external (private) laboratories for testing by in situ hybridisation.

Our Surgical Pathologists also provide gynaecological, non-gynaecological and fine needle aspiration services.

Electron Microscopy - Centre for Ultrastructural Pathology

Created in 2010 by amalgamating the state’s four existing electron microscope units to form a single centre of excellence, the Centre for Ultrastructural Pathology provides diagnostic transmission electron microscopy services to SA Pathology and interstate clients.

Renal biopsies (native and transplant) form the bulk of the unit’s work, however, specimens also include muscles and nerves, tumours, cilia and skin biopses for the diagnosis of cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). For advice or details of the services provided, phone 08 8222 3202.

Frozen section service

An intraoperative frozen section service is available at all major public hospitals, which provides rapid diagnostic evaluation of biopsies to help guide surgical management.


An adult autopsy service is provided at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre campuses. The Women's and Children's Hospital campus provides the State Perinatal Autopsy Service.

Tissue Bank

The TGA accredited SA Tissue Bank is located at the Royal Adelaide Hospital site, with this material utilised for orthopaedic reconstructive surgery and neurosurgery.

CPC Meetings

Clinico-pathological correlation (CPC) meetings are frequently held with our clinicians and are available upon request.

Teaching and training

The division conducts RCPA accredited training of anatomical pathologists as well as undergraduate and post-graduate teaching in Medicine and Science.


The Surgical Pathology division has a strong basic and applied research profile, particularly in bone disease (Bone and Joint Research Laboratory, Adelaide Centre for Spinal Research), neuropathology (Hanson Institute Centre for Neurological Diseases), and gastroenterology.

Clinical Director: Dr John Pierides
Directorate Manager : Paul Panigiris