Complete autopsy

Why choose a complete autopsy:  A complete autopsy will determine the cause of death in most cases.  In addition, a complete autopsy can also address many other questions.


What is done: A complete autopsy consists of a complete evaluation of

  • the outside of the body
  • the organs and internal structures of the head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis
  • other areas (depending on the goals of the case)

Why did my loved one die? 

Understanding the cause of death is a main goal of the autopsy.  By looking everywhere in the body, we will leave “no stone unturned” in finding the cause of death.   Whether the cause was in the head (for example, stroke), chest (for example, heart attack), or abdomen (for example, a torn blood vessel), a complete autopsy provides the most thorough way to be sure to find the cause. Back to top of page.


Did everything go ok with the surgery?

A complete autopsy will evaluate a surgical procedure no matter where it was in the body.

Especially in cases where litigation is a concern, a complete autopsy is recommended. This allows the case to be performed in a thorough way; and allows the case and report to reflect medicolegal standards.

Sometimes when someone dies during or after a surgery, the overall health of the patient can contribute to the death. A complete autopsy will help clarify what the patient’s health risks were around the time of the procedure. Back to top of page.


What caused my loved one’s symptoms?

You may also have questions unrelated to the cause of death.  For example, you may wonder why your loved one’s stomach hurt or why he or she had headaches. Although these problems may not have caused the death, it may feel unsettling to wonder what caused them. Requesting a complete autopsy will ensure that we will look everywhere and “cover all the bases.” Understanding all the medical issues can help provide closure. Back to top of page.


What is my children’s risk of inherited disease? 

A complete autopsy provides information on the whole body.  This helps provide information about the risk of certain inherited disease.  For example, looking at the amount of plaque in all the vessels throughout the body can help clarify the risk of inherited high cholesterol and heart disease. Back to top of page.


Was there any cancer? 

Many families worry about whether there is cancer in the body at the time of death. Sometimes they worry especially when there is a history of cancer in the family. Knowing that the body is cancer-free can help reassure the family.  A complete autopsy will look everywhere and be able to tell. Back to top of page.


For a comprehensive approach that leaves “no stone unturned,” a complete autopsy may be your best option. Please call us at 1-855-8-AUTOPSY.