Surgical Abortion – 1st Trimester Abortion
Our Process to Prepare You
When you arrive at Cherry Hill Women’s Center, you will be treated with compassion and respect while receiving the highest quality, individualized medical care. Our services include a series of pre-operative assessments with medical and counseling staff.
You will receive the following care as we prepare you for your procedure:
- Ultrasound – to determine the gestational age of the pregnancy
- Lab testing – to determine Rh blood type and hemoglobin level
- Counseling – to address your questions and concerns about the procedure
- History and Physical – to review your medical history, current physical state and birth control options
After your pre-operative assessment has been completed, you will be prepared for your surgery and escorted to the operating room. During the surgery there will be approximately 3-5 medical staff in the operating room with you (depending on your individual needs).
First Trimester Abortion
Abortion procedures in the first trimester of pregnancy are performed within the first 11 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, and are completed by a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D&E). The procedure will take approximately 5 minutes, although your visit to the Center may take several hours.
The procedure can be performed with either local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. If you choose local anesthesia you will be awake and conscious during your procedure. You will receive a local anesthetic which will relax your cervix, but you will still experience cramping and discomfort during the procedure. If you choose intravenous sedation you will be completely sedated, and you will not see, hear or feel any part of the surgery.
The procedure will begin when the physician inserts a speculum into your vagina in order to view your cervix. The physician will then dilate (open) your cervix by inserting thin, metal rods, one by one, into the opening of the cervix. These rods, called dilators, gradually increase in width. A narrow, flexible tube will be inserted into the uterus and a vacuum aspirator will create a suction which removes the pregnancy. The doctor will then use a small spoon-like instrument, called a curette, to go along the wall of the uterus to ensure that all pregnancy tissue has been removed. After your surgery, you will be monitored in our recovery room until you are medically cleared to go home, usually 30-45 minutes.
If you choose to have intravenous sedation, you will not be able to drive yourself and will need to make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from Cherry Hill Women’s Center. If you choose to have local anesthesia you are able to drive yourself home after your surgery.