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How Long Does it Take to Get the Results from Genetic Testing?

The length of time you are going to wait for your genetics results depends on multiple factors:

  1. Type of testing ordered: There are various technologies used for genetic testing, some of which require more time to complete than others. If the laboratory is experiencing delays, it may extend the waiting period.
  2. Laboratory: Several laboratories are performing genetic testing. They each operate as independent entities with their own unique policies and procedures. The length of time you wait to receive results may vary depending on the specific laboratory your genetic counselor has chosen. Most labs list their estimated turnaround time on their website.
  3. Result interpretation: Once your genetics results are returned to your genetic counselor, they take time to interpret the results in the context of your medical and family history. They may need to do research, consult other providers/researchers, or discuss the result with the laboratory.
  4. Scheduling: Some genetic counselors have time to return results to patients as soon as they get them, and some do not. It really depends on how busy your genetic counselor is and how soon you can schedule with them.

In general, you can expect small single gene or panel tests to result in 2-6 weeks, while larger exome/genome tests may take months. Genetic counselors understand the anxiety of waiting for results and make every effort to deliver them promptly. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your genetic counselor if you feel your results should have arrived by now.

 

Written by Michelle Rochman, MS CGC

Edited by Celeste Suart, PhD

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