First Trimester Surgical Abortion

A first trimester surgical abortion is one that is performed prior to 12 weeks gestation as determined by ultrasound. The standard procedure for this type of termination is vacuum aspiration or suction curettage. This procedure is also sometimes referred to as a D&C. A patient has the option to undergo Twilight anesthesia with this procedure. Click on the following links to learn more about first trimester abortions. Every procedure is performed in a private surgical suite as part of our policy to provide confidential care to all our patients.

Q: What happens before a first trimester surgical abortion?

A: An ultrasound to determine your pregnancy gestation is performed to ensure that the patient is below 12 weeks. Our nurses will then take vitals, a urine sample, and blood sample. We will determine if the woman’s blood type is RH-negative. Patients with a negative blood type will receive a Rhogam inection for a minimal additional fee. The patient will meet with a counselor to discuss her medical history explain the procedure. We would be happy to answer any questions during the counseling session. Prepared for the procedure follows.

Q: What happens during a first trimester surgical abortion?

A: Each patient will be led to a private surgical suite. At this time the patient will meet with the Staff needed to assist in the procedure. Once she is comfortable, the Anesthesiologist will ask questions in regards to the patient’s medical history and allergies the patient may have. The surgeon will do a pelvic examination, similar to annual gynecological exam, and then perform the main procedure. The surgeon will collaborate with the pathologist to confirm success of the operation. The patient transitions to the recovery room for observation and care until she is ready to go home.

Q: What happens after a first trimester surgical abortion?

A: In the recovery room, the patient will recover from the effects of the anesthesia medication for about 30 minutes. Nurses and staff contiue monitoring for patient safety. Some people feel cramping, nausea, have a headache, and may feel dizzy – normal symptoms lasting only a short time. We are able to offer you referrals for counseling. Once the patient is ready to leave we will give the patient discharge instructions. The patient will go home to relax in bed for the day.

To ensure that you have a healthy recovery make sure to:
Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol while taking medications.
Avoid any strenuous activities or heavy lifting (over 15 pounds).
DO NOT drive for 24 hours after surgery.
Monitor your temperature.
DO NOT immerse yourself in water until after your follow-up exam.
DO NOT use any type of douching product.
DO NOT use any tampons, only maxi pads.
DO NOT engage in sexual activity.

If you have heavy bleeding (saturating 2-3 pads in an hour) or any large blood clots call the center right away.