Abortion by D&E (Dilation and Evacuation) is one of the safest and most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. For this procedure, you can expect to be in our office approximately 2 to 4 hours with less than five minutes for abortions performed during the first trimester and slightly longer for second trimester procedures (13 to 20 weeks).
The abortion procedure by D&E (Dilation and Evacuation) consists of the gradual dilation of the cervix and the use of vacuum aspiration to empty the contents of the uterus.
Most procedures can be completed in one visit. If you are 16 weeks or greater, the procedure will be completed over a two day period. For these procedures, the physician will insert small dilators (laminaria) into the cervix on the first day. The laminaria will remain in place overnight to allow the cervix to slowly dilate. You will return to the office the following day where the laminaria will be removed and the procedure will then be completed.
This is the safest and most comfortable process for terminating a pregnancy at this stage.
After the Abortion
The recovery period is an essential part of any surgical procedure. After the procedure, you will rest in our recovery room for a minimum of one hour. This time is to ensure your safety and well-being. Your vital signs will be monitored and you will be given a beverage and a snack. We will also give you birth control pills if requested and ensure you understand your post-operative instructions. Prescriptions will be given at discharge. These prescriptions can be filled at our office for your convenience or at any pharmacy if we do not have them available.
A member of our medical staff is on call 24 hours a day for questions or concerns.
You should return to our facility three weeks after your procedure for a follow-up exam. At this visit, we ensure that you have a negative pregnancy test, check your vital signs and determine that your uterus has returned to its normal, non-pregnant size. If you would like to begin or continue birth control, you must have a current Pap Smear. If you are due for your annual exam, you may have your Pap Smear done at this visit.