FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A rapid autopsy is a way to procure tumor tissue quickly from both primary and metastatic sites (when applicable) before the tissue quality has degraded. Such rapid procurement improves the quality of advanced tumor analysis and permits an abundance of information to be extracted from tissue.
The goal is to begin the autopsy procedure within two to three hours of death, but it can be considered for up to 12 hours after death. Once started, the procedure will typically take two to four hours to complete.
The autopsy is performed in a state-of-the-art autopsy facility within Weill Cornell Medical College. The procedure will involve attending pathology faculty, pathology residents, experienced autopsy technicians, and research tissue procurement personnel. If you do not live near our facility, we will help you coordinate this process with your local hospital, pathology department, and funeral home.
No. A well-planned brain autopsy will not delay or interfere with a family’s funeral plans. You may have any sort of service or remembrance that you and your family wish. The autopsy is done discreetly and does not cause any change in the donor’s outward appearance.
While it may be overwhelming and emotional, it is important to try to begin making plans for tissue donation as soon as possible. Ensuring that all details are coordinated prior to death will prevent stress during a very difficult time.
You may withdraw from the donation program at any time. All you need to do is contact our office and inform us of your decision.
Please contact our Neuro-oncology research team, who will help you with any questions and coordination.