1730 Elton Road, Silver Spring, MD 20903

Phone: 301-439-4301

FAQs Patients

We’ve tried to anticipate and answer many of your questions below. Please select the appropriate category and the corresponding response will drop down for viewing.

Why did my physician, PA, or nurse practitioner send my biopsy to BDL?

Your healthcare provider sent your biopsy to BDL because they are considered the best dermatopathology laboratory in the area, and the results of your skin biopsy will play a critical role in determining the best treatment for your condition. The doctors at BDL are dermatopathologists, meaning they are experts in interpreting samples from the skin, hair, nails, and mouth. With over 30 years of providing this highly specialized and important service, the team at BDL has earned your health care provider’s trust and confidence.
Learn more about our doctors here

Can you explain the process for examining my biopsy?

You can view the process your biopsy takes through the laboratory by taking our video tour.

What will my biopsy show?

To the highly skilled dermatopathologist, the patterns and cytologic detail seen under the microscope becomes a recognizable pattern, like a fingerprint. The findings may indicate many different things, including:

  • Normal tissue growth
  • Inflammation, such as dermatitis
  • Infection
  • Benign tumor
  • Malignant tumor

When your doctor, nurse practitioner, or PA gets the results, they will explain to you the meaning of the diagnosis, and then they will decide the appropriate care and treatment.

How long will it take to get lab results?

We understand the anxiety that many patients experience while waiting for their lab results. At BDL, we strive to get your lab results back to your physician as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality or accuracy. Your pathology test results are typically sent to your doctor 24-48 hours after we receive your biopsy. If molecular testing or referral to an academic center is warranted, your health care provider will be notified, and the results may take several more days.

Can I get a copy of my report?

To get a copy of your report, you must sign a release form and return it to us via fax at 301-439-4340. Or you can also email us at clinical@bdlab.com.

Can I speak to the pathologist who interprets my biopsy?

Yes. If a patient is concerned or does not totally understand the interpretation from their provider, a further discussion with the dermatopathologist is available. As a courtesy to the provider who sent the biopsy to us, we ask that you contact us after you have spoken with your provider about your biopsy results.

How can I get my slides sent to another laboratory?

To request a second opinion, you must forward a request in writing via email at clinical@bdlab.com or fax at 301-439-4340 in order to authorize the release of slides. Be sure to include the appropriate facility’s address and physician’s name where slides are to be sent.

Can BDL give me a second opinion on my biopsy read at another lab?

The experts at BDL are happy to give a second opinion on your biopsy. To make this request, you can email us at clinical@bdlab.com or call 301-439-4340 in order to get instructions for requesting the slides from the other laboratory.

Will I get a bill for the biopsy service?

Yes. There is a separate bill for the technical and professional components of testing performed in our laboratory

Why not send my biopsy to LabCorp/Quest, where I don’t have to pay as much?

The doctors at BDL are focused exclusively on dermatopathology, and they have earned the trust of your doctor or other health care provider in interpreting samples from the skin, hair, nails, and mouth. The interpretation of biopsies is much more complex than the interpretation of other clinical lab tests. Your health care provider is choosing to send your biopsy to the same experts they would choose to interpret their own skin biopsy.



    I am so glad to have BDL to read my dermatopathology. The doctors I work with all are interested in the cases and the patients and take a... read more

    Gayle Masri-Fridling, MD, Vienna, VA

    Accuracy of diagnosis, timely reporting and easy accessibility to physicians and staff has been our consistent experience with Bethesda Dermatopathology Laboratory (BDL) over the last 20 years. We... read more

    Peninsula Dermatology Associates, Salisbury, MD
    Howard C. Hines M.D.
    Luette Spitzer Semmes M.D.
    Elizabeth M. Burke M.D.

    The Dermatopathologists at BDL are easy to reach. They give me their time to discuss concerns about patient cases. They often have a perspective or consideration to add... read more

    Cecilia Ross, PA-C “, Forefront Dermatology, Vienna, VA

    Dr. Bravo has been reading the skin biopsies of my patients, my family and myself for the last 20 years. I literally trust her with my life! She... read more

    Diane J. Orlinsky, M.D., F.A.A.D., Towson, MD