Pain, Sedation and Anesthesia – Frequently Asked Questions

Abortion Procedures – Frequently Asked Questions

Advanced IV Sedation or Deep Sedation For Abortions

For over 20 years, Dr. Pendergraft has used some of the best medications available for allowing patients to be completely comfortable while undergoing surgical abortion procedures.

Prior to modern anesthetic medications, surgical abortion procedures were associated with moderate morbidity and mortality due to the use of anesthetic agents from the past.

With the latest advancements in today’s technological medications, patients can be sedated much faster and are awake as soon as the surgical procedure is complete which is normally less than three minutes.

Most clinics where abortions are performed do not use the latest and most advanced medications and techniques due to lack of knowledge and training.

It does not mean the medications used do not have some degree of reducing pain. However, the medications used can linger in the blood stream for hours and sometimes even days, thus causing patients unnecessary delays in returning to their normal work schedules, school or other responsibilities.

Anesthesia options are often chosen based on cost, or decided by a non-Physician owner of the clinic. The best analgesic (pain reduction) and anesthesia (putting patients to sleep) medications that provide the fastest induction, shortest half-lives (in and out of the body in 10 to 20 minutes); allow the greatest amount of patient comfort and safety require a higher level of medical training and skill.

Dr. Pendergraft acquired training during his surgical internship, ten years of training in the emergency room and continuous training with analgesic and anesthetic medications that allow patients to be 100% comfortable during their abortion procedure.

Dr. Pendergraft has over 28 years of experience using sedative and analgesic techniques which can provide patients with a pain free abortion procedure.

These techniques have been passed on and learned by other Physicians who work at the Women’s Centers and they are able to apply their skills for providing patients the same level of comfort during the surgical procedure.

At our Women’s Centers, we believe that all patients deserve to be comfortable when undergoing their termination of pregnancy. We find that the majority of patients who experience only minimal fear and anxiety do very well with our regular IV sedation.

“Will the abortion procedure hurt?”

Having a surgical abortion procedure performed should not be an uncomfortable experience. There are many facilities still only using a combination of valium, nitrous oxide, and numbing of the cervix with Lidocaine to perform abortion procedures.

This is why many patients feel that surgical abortions are very painful and uncomfortable. We at the Women’s Center believe that all women deserve to have an abortion performed with modern day analgesics where they will not feel or remember any part of the procedure if this is what they choose.

However, there are some women who are able to undergo a surgical abortion without anesthesia.

With Physicians like Dr. Pendergraft leading the way for patients to undergo modern IV sedation which allows them to be absolutely pain free, it has changed how patients have and should be cared for in one of the most difficult times in their life.

Anesthesia is a way for the patient to maintain her dignity and not feel that she deserves the severe pain that she is getting because she has done something so wrong, shameful, and bad. For most patients, a mistake was made.

No one deserves to be punished or have severe pain for a mistake.

IV Sedation or Deep Sedation should be satisfactory for most patients who undergo surgical abortion procedures as the latter is associated with the patient’s ability to respond verbally while the procedure is taking place; although most patients do not remember or feel anything.

The use of general anesthesia for the surgical abortion is clearly a better choice for patients who want to be completely asleep and who are experiencing a very high level of anxiety.

Without appropriate anesthesia for the individual with high anxiety and fear, they may be prone to move around on the surgical table which can increase their risk from mild to very serious morbidity.

Adequate anesthesia allows patients to have a comfortable and painless abortion procedure. During recovery, most women will even ask if their procedure was performed because they did not feel or remember anything happening.

We offer regular sedation to patients who do not want to remember very much about the procedure, or who can tolerate a small amount of discomfort. For patients who want a completely pain-free procedure, we offer Deep IV Sedation or General Anesthesia.

Our regular IV Sedation is included in the surgical abortion fee. In addition to helping patients not remember the procedure, it relieves anxiety and allows patients to be comfortable during the abortion procedure.

Our Deep IV Sedation requires a small additional fee. It allows patients to have a pain-free surgical procedure. You may think that you have gone to sleep, but that is not the case.

You remain alert throughout the entire procedure, but you do not remember anything regarding the procedure itself.

For patients who want IV sedation but do not want to bring someone to drive them home, or for privacy issues and would rather not tell anyone that they are having a termination procedure performed, we offer our Advanced Technology IV Sedation.

Patient’s recover from the sedation within 45 minutes to one hour.

We charge an additional fee for this service, but under certain circumstances, most patients believe it is well worth the cost.

Our General Anesthesia requires an addition fee. It allows patients to be asleep and feel no discomfort or pain while the surgical procedure is being performed.

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