Elective surgical abortion can be performed between the sixth and twenty-fourth week of pregnancy. Please see our pregnancy calculator to estimate the gestation of your pregnancy.
Surgical abortion between 14-24 weeks:
If you are between 14 and 24 weeks pregnant, your procedure will take two to three days to complete. You will have all necessary labwork, ultrasound, paperwork, counseling and exam on the first appointment day. The first part of the procedure will include the doctor's examination, manual dilation of the cervix and insertion of laminaria - a sterile material made of a spongy type of seaweed that expands by soaking up fluid from the cervix. This allows for a more gentle, wider and more natural dilation of the cervix than other methods. This process can take one to two days depending on gestation and the individual woman. You will have an appointment to come in to the office each day until the procedure is complete, so that your dilation can be monitered.
While the laminaria are in, you will be expected to stay nearby the office and come in for all scheduled check-ups. Not all of our facilities are equipped to perform surgical procedures in the second trimester. If the office most convenient to you cannot complete the procedure, you will be referred to one of our other locations after your first appointment. You will be expected to travel to that office for the subsequent appointments, but may return to the nearer office for your check-up. We can assist you in making travel arrangements to distant offices, if necessary. Your follow-up appointment will be scheduled for two weeks after your procedure appointment to make sure that the procedure was completely successful and you are healing well.
When adequate dilation has occurred, the laminaria will be removed and your uterus emptied by the technique the physician feels is best for you. Twilight sleep will be provided for all patients undergoing an abortion procedure in the second trimester. This medication will relax you, reduce the amount of discomfort you may feel and can inhibit memory formation. You will be in a "twilight" state between asleep and alert. This medication is given by injection before the final procedure is begun. Twilight sleep is different from general anesthesia in that. This type of sedation is safer than general anesthesia and carries less risk of serious adverse reactions.