Surgical Abortion - Heritage Clinic for Women abortion clinic in Michigan Heritage Clinic for Women abortion clinic in Michigan

Surgical Abortion

Depending on how far along the pregnancy there are TWO types of Surgical Abortions offered at Heritage Clinic for Women.


I. SUCTION CURETTAGE Surgical Abortion

Heritage Clinic for Women offers the Suction Curettage abortion procedure if your pregnancy is between 5-13 weeks LMP. Suction Curettage abortion procedure is the most common method of abortions performed in the United States.

Procedure

You will prepare for the procedure by changing into an exam gown. You will then be accompanied into the exam room by a member of our medical staff who will remain with you as support during the abortion and as an assistant to the physician.

It is normal to experience cramping with an abortion which may be less than or greater than your normal menstrual cramps. To help maximize comfort, we provide a narcotic before and during the procedure called Fentanyl that acts as a pain reliever. Fentanyl may also cause you to feel drowsy, which can help ease you emotionally as well as physically.

Once you have received the narcotic and our physician has performed a basic pelvic exam, he numbs the cervix with a local anesthetic. He will then insert a series of increasingly larger dilating rods into the cervical canal that will open or dilate the cervix. Once the cervix is dilated, the physician will insert a small, sterile, plastic aspirating tube into the uterus that provides suction and removes the pregnancy.

The physician will complete the procedure by inserting a small, sterile, looped instrument called a curette to rub the walls of the uterus to insure all tissue is removed. The entire Suction Curettage procedure takes approximately three to five minutes to complete.

Conscious Sedation

The local anesthesia and narcotic we traditionally use is more than adequate to provide relief for the discomfort and cramping during a first trimester abortion.   However, if you are experiencing a level of anxiety so high that you believe it will interfere with your ability to cope during the abortion procedure, it may benefit to have additional sedation.   We offer the option of Conscious Sedation that is a combination of the pain relieving narcotic we normally use along with a sedative-hypnotic drug called Versed.

Conscious Sedation alters your state of consciousness, helping you to feel more relaxed and less anxious during the abortion. This combination provides increased sedation without the high risks associated with general anesthesia. You will maintain your breathing independently, be easily aroused and respond to physical stimuli and verbal commands.

If you feel you would benefit from using this additional medication, please come prepared for an extra fee (please contact the clinic for current fees) and should not eat or drink anything after midnight the day of the appointment.

Considerations, Side Effects and Risks

First trimester abortions are considered the safest way a pregnancy can end. Every woman is different, but most women experience some cramping and bleeding after an abortion. You will receive thorough instructions regarding restrictions, recovery and aftercare to minimize the risk of problems.

More than 97% of all first trimester abortions take place without any complications. Of the remaining percentage, 2.5% experience minor complications such as infection, retained tissue and heavier bleeding which if addressed promptly can be handled with medication or a return visit to the clinic.

Continuing pregnancy is possible after a very early suction curettage abortion due to multiple pregnancies, a double uterus, or an ectopic pregnancy; however, due to a routine ultrasound prior to every abortion, these conditions are normally discovered and addressed before the abortion even occurs.

More major complications such as perforation of the uterus, prolonged infection or prolonged hemorrhage might require additional medical support although the need for hospitalization or surgery is less than .005%. It is extremely rare that anyone would have a complication or require treatment for a complication that is severe enough to cause damage to the reproductive system, damage a woman’s health or threaten her life. These risks are possible regardless of how the pregnancy ends: miscarriage, abortion, C-section or vaginal delivery.

Statistically speaking, a first trimester abortions are the safest way a pregnancy can end. Our counseling and medical staff provide thorough aftercare instructions and existing clients have emergency access to our physician 24 hours a day.

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II. DILATION & EVACUATION (D&E) Surgical Abortion

Heritage Clinic for Women offers the Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure for pregnancy 14- 22 weeks LMP.

D&E abortions constitute approximately 10% of all abortions performed in the United States with less that 1% performed after 20 weeks.

Procedure

The D&E procedure is performed in two steps. The first step involves inserting a natural fiber, dilating substance called Laminaria into the cervical opening during a pelvic exam. Since the cervix needs to be opened farther in the second trimester, slower dilation is necessary to minimize the risk of cervical harm.

The Laminaria remains in the cervix over several hours or overnight as it absorbs moisture and swells, pressing the cervix open.

During the second step, the physician removes the pregnancy with sterile instruments (such as the curette and forceps) and suction aspiration. The option to schedule both steps on the same day is available through 16 weeks LMP.

Procedures after 16 weeks must be scheduled over two consecutive days.

Conscious Sedation, a combination of the pain-relieving narcotic called Fentanyl with a sedative-hypnotic drug called Versed, is administered during the D&E procedure for physical and emotional comfort.

Conscious Sedation alters a woman’s state of consciousness, helping her to feel more relaxed and experience less discomfort and anxiety during the abortion.

This combination provides increased sedation without the high risks associated with general anesthesia by allowing the patient to maintain her breathing independently, be easily aroused and respond to physical stimuli and verbal commands.

The second step of the procedure usually takes between ten and fifteen minutes.

Considerations, Side Effects and Risks

More than 97% of all second trimester abortions take place without any complications. Of the remaining percentage, 2.5% experience minor complications such as infection, retained tissue and heavier bleeding which if addressed promptly can be handled with medication or a return visit to the clinic.

The risk of more major complications such as perforation or laceration of the uterus or cervix, prolonged infection or prolonged hemorrhage, all of which might require additional medical support, is slightly higher than in the first trimester although the need for hospitalization or surgery is still less than one percent.

It is extremely rare that anyone would have a complication or require treatment for a complication that is severe enough to cause damage to the reproductive system, damage a woman’s health or threaten her life. These risks are possible regardless of how the pregnancy ends: miscarriage, abortion, C-section or vaginal delivery.

Statistically speaking, a first trimester abortion is the safest way a pregnancy can end and a second trimester abortion does not carry any risks higher than carrying a pregnancy full term.

Our counseling and medical staff provide thorough aftercare instructions and patients have emergency access to our physician 24 hours a day.

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