A post-mortem will be carried out as soon as possible, usually within two to three working days of a person's death. In some cases, it may be possible for it to take place within 24 hours. Depending upon when the examination is due to take place, you may be able to see the body before the post-mortem is carried out.

The post-mortem takes place in an examination room that looks similar to an operating theatre. The examination room will be licensed and inspected by the HTA.

During the procedure, the deceased person's body is opened and the organs removed for examination. A diagnosis can sometimes be made by looking at the organs.

Some organs need to be examined in close detail during a post-mortem and these investigations can take several weeks to complete.

The pathologist will return the organs to the body after the post-mortem has been completed. If you wish, you'll usually be able to view the body after the examination.

Once release papers have been issued, the undertakers you've appointed will be able to collect the body from the mortuary in preparation for the funeral.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018