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Virginia Pathology and Autopsy Services

People sometimes ask, why an autopsy? What will it show? Studies continue to reveal that 40 percent of autopsies find issues that were not suspected during life and 15 percent reveal findings that would have changed the course of treatment had the attending doctors known of them during life. Substantial findings are often discovered, frequently making the autopsy the ultimate measure of quality of care.

Sometimes families want autopsies done for potential litigation. Without an autopsy, a wrongful death case can become a dispute about how a person died and what the cause of death was. After a loved one has been interred it becomes difficult both emotionally and financially to exhume.  We offer an array of services all of which can be customized to answer the questions and concerns you have.


When a loved one dies it is a time of great upheaval and stress. You may feel overwhelmed by all the questions surrounding your loved ones death or you might simply want closure and peace of mind. An autopsy can help you understand the circumstances that led to the loss of your loved one as well as any genetic or inherited diseases that may continue on to future generations.


An autopsy or post mortem medical examination of tissue is a high value medicolegal tool. An autopsy can be instrumental in many forms of litigation including wrongful death, medical malpractice, toxic torts, and personal injury cases. We routinely perform complete and partial autopsies for litigation purposes.


As a Funeral Director, you are the professional that families most often ask "Do you know who we can call to have an autopsy done?" When you recommend Virginia Pathology and Autopsy Services you are recommending a team who can provide an excellent quality of service, is convenient and considerate of the timing of the funeral services.


For some pathology departments an autopsy can be too difficult to staff and schedule, or a specific case may require a private independent autopsy. We can assist your department by providing full service coverage of your autopsies or a case-by-case relationship.

What is the difference between a partial and complete autopsy?

When a loved one passes there is a lot of confusion. Sometimes you may already know why a loved one passed and the cause and circumstances surrounding the death is clear, still, specific questions about an illness may remain. For instance you may have concerns about genetic diseases, inheritable diseases, types of cancer, neurological diseases and conditions which affect the health of the whole family. An autopsy can help you discover this information. If you are not certain if a partial or complete autopsy is the right choice, we can help guide you through the decision with expert knowledge and straightforward information.

Partial Autopsy Options:

Specific Organ Autopsy

When the main concern is limited specifically to one organ or tissue disease process, we can focus the examination to that specific tissue.

Lung Harvesting

Asbestosis related mesothelioma and other lung cancers

Brain Only Autopsy

Primarily performed to diagnose cases of dementia including Alzheimer's Disease, frontal temporal degeneration or other disorders.

Private Pathology Services

Virginia Pathology and Autopsy Services
Director: Maritza Romero-Gutierrez, MD
P.O. Box 304
Locust Grove, VA 22508

Edward Brown, MHA (ASCP), Pathology Assistant
Stephen DeSimone, Autopsy Manager
Phone:  (540)935-1146 or (703)725-7979