What happens during an abortion?
The patient is taken to an exam room where she is placed on the exam table in the same position as having a Pelvic Exam and Pap Smear. If she has elected to have IV Sedation, Advanced IV Sedation, Deep IV Sedation or General Anesthesia, that process is then started. After the patient is noted to be comfortable, the remainder of the procedure occurs.
The cervix is anesthetized with Lidocaine, which is similar to Novocaine and is then dilated to allow access to the uterus. A curette (hollow plastic tube comparable to a drinking straw) is inserted into the uterus, and the contents are then removed by manual or electronic suction aspiration.
Advanced pregnancy may require cervical dilation (opening) with Laminaria (sterile seaweed), or Cytotec (medication that causes the uterus to contract) which causes the cervix to open. You may be asked to go home or to a nearby hotel to return the following day for the actual surgery. Sometimes it may take 3 days in order for the cervix to dilate adequately before surgery is performed by removing or evacuating the pregnancy tissue with oval forceps and suction aspiration.
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