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Second Trimester Surgical Abortion:
Early Second Trimester Surgical Abortion (13 to 16 weeks)
The Women’s Centers provide the safest and most appropriate methods of terminating your pregnancy. We attempt to understand each patient’s need and their desire for comfort and privacy. We’re here to help patients reach the decision that is best for them.
Most termination procedures between 13 and 16 weeks are performed using the Dilatation and Evacuation Method (D&E). This procedure is commonly performed in one day with the use of medications that allow the cervix to soften and open so that it is safer and less difficult to remove the uterine contents. In addition to medications, Laminaria (small sticks of sterile seaweed) may be used to open and soften the cervix. This allows removal of the pregnancy tissue in a safe manner. The combination of Laminaria and medication taken by mouth generally allows the procedure to be performed safely in 3 to 4 hours. As the cervix gradually opens, patients begin to have uterine contractions which cause a lower abdominal cramping sensation.
Patients may choose from several methods of anesthesia; regular IV sedation, advanced technology IV sedation, Deep Anesthesia, general anesthesia, or local cervical anesthesia. The choice of anesthesia used depends on the anxiety, pain tolerance, and whether or not the patient has an escort to take her home. Advance technology IV sedation is for the patient who is unable to find an escort that could come with her to the office, or if she wishes not to have anyone know she came to the office to have an abortion performed. Resuscitative equipment is always available.
Patients who are pregnant between 12 and 16 weeks can usually be offered a safe, one day, second trimester abortion procedure that generally involves preparation (ripening) of the cervix using Laminaria or cytotec or the combination of both. Laminaria are sterile sticks the length and size of a matchstick that are gently inserted into the cervix that slowly dilate (open) it. This reduces the incidence of cervical tears, uterine perforation (hole in uterus), bladder injury, bowel injury, retained pregnancy tissue, or bleeding.
Once the cervix is open and soft enough, patients are taken to a treatment room. The patient will lie on the exam table in the same position as when a Pap Smear is performed. If the patient wants IV Sedation, it is given at this time. A Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is then performed using sterilized surgical instruments and sterile disposable plastic uterine curettes. Special instruments are used to remove the pregnancy gently and safely. Ultrasound Guidance is used by some Physicians during the abortion procedure. Once the procedure is complete, patients are taken to the recovery room where their vital signs and the amount of vaginal bleeding are monitored.
Patients who have an Rh negative blood type will need to have a full dose of a Rhogam injection at the end of the abortion procedure to reduce the chance of forming antibodies that could affect future pregnancies, including the cause of intrauterine death.
Lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, cramping and weakness may occur following the procedure. Once it is determined that the patient can be discharged, she is given a post-operative instruction sheet indicating how to care for herself at home. Patients may experience bleeding and cramping for a few days. Patients should not lift heavy objects or strain for two weeks following the procedure. Patients should not engage in intercourse or place anything inside the vagina for three weeks.
Patients are encouraged to return to our offices three weeks following the abortion procedure for a follow-up exam, a pregnancy test, and to discuss emergency contraception and long term birth control measures.
A patient may request an exclusive or private appointment with Dr. Pendergraft by contacting him by E-mail preferable: Drpendergraft@gmail.com or call him directly at 321-445-2545 or call office location nearest you by clicking locations. Same day appointments can be arranged.
For further information including family planning, please visit our premiere website.
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