Surgical Abortion Frequently Asked Questions

Surgical Abortion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at Choices Women’s Medical Center are included on this page. Frequently Asked Questions are answered about Choices in GeneralMedical Abortion or Abortion Pill, Gynecology, and Pregnancy on separate pages. Choices is woman-owned and operated with mainly women staff.

How is the surgery performed?

Up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, abortion is a simple procedure performed by suction (vacuum aspiration). The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes, with additional time for preparation and recovery.

Over 12 weeks of pregnancy the procedure is called “D&E” (dilation and evacuation), which refers to gentle opening of the cervix and emptying the uterus using suction and surgical instruments. This is a two-day procedure. On day one, a sterile product made specifically to dilate is placed into the cervix by a doctor. This procedure takes only a few minutes, but you will be at Choices for approximately 2 hours, including lab work and a private session with a Counselor where you will have a chance to talk about the procedure and raise any questions or concerns you may have. On day two the procedure is completed. Although this procedure takes only 10-15 minutes, you should plan on being at Choices for several hours to include pre-operative preparation and recovery.

What is a D&C?

Dilation and Curettage (D&C) is a brief, safe surgical procedure to open the cervix and empty the contents of the uterus, usually using suction (vacuum aspiration). It is the most common method for treating early miscarriage as well as the preferred method of abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Is it a doctor who performs the surgery?

Yes. All of our doctors are licensed by the State of New York and specialize in pregnancy termination.

How effective is surgical abortion?

In most cases, surgical abortion is completely effective. A small percentage of cases will require reaspiration if unusual bleeding occurs or if there is retained tissue.

How much does a surgical abortion cost?

The cost will vary from $500 to $2800, depending on how far along you are in pregnancy.

Can I have an abortion if I’ve had a C-Section for childbirth?

If you have had a C-Section, there are certain limitations for surgical abortions at Choices. If you are in your first trimester (3 months) of pregnancy, you cannot have an abortion at Choices if you have had more than 3 C-sections. If you are 13-17 weeks pregnant, you cannot have an abortion at Choices if you have had more than 2 C-sections. If you are 18-20 weeks, you cannot have an abortion at Choices if you have had more than 1 C-Section. If you are more than 20 weeks pregnant, you cannot have an abortion at Choices if you have had a C-Section.

How will I feel after my surgical abortion?

Most patients experience some cramping. If the cramping is not relieved by over the counter medications such as Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil, we ask the patient to call our 24-hour emergency number. You may take a shower or tub bath after surgery. Do not douche, use tampons or have intercourse for two weeks. Avoid any products that contain aspirin as aspirin promotes bleeding.

Will it hurt?

If you have chosen deep sedation you will be completely asleep during the surgery so you will not feel any pain. After the procedure you may experience cramping, which can range from mild to moderate. In most cases Extra Strength Tylenol, Aleve or Motrin will relieve the cramping. If the cramping is not relieved with these remedies, you should call us immediately.

How long will I be in deep sedation?

You will be asleep for 5-10 minutes, depending on whether the procedure is performed in the first or second trimester.

I am afraid I won’t wake up after deep sedation. Can that happen?

The anesthesia that we offer is safe, effective and short acting. You will be asleep from 5-10 minutes depending on the procedure. There is always some degree of risk with any surgery. Serious complications with deep sedation are very rare at Choices. Most complications occur when a patient has had food or liquid within 8 hours of surgery. Tell your Counselor if you have had prior complications with anesthesia, if you have any allergies to medicine, or if you have had anything to eat or drink within 8 hours prior to your surgery.

Can I return to work? Or Should I take off for a few days?

The majority of our patients return to work or school the following day. Your Social Worker and medical staff will explain the DO’s and DON’Ts after surgery.

Do I need to bring someone with me? Can I take the subway or bus home?

We ask that your partner or another trusted adult over the age of 18 to come with you for your appointment and accompany you home. What  transportation is best will depend on how you are feeling.

How long will I bleed after surgery?

In most cases the patient experiences bleeding for 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery. However, some patients do not experience any bleeding, and other patients have spotting or bleeding off and on. 

When will I have my next period?

Normally, your regular menstrual cycle will resume 4 to 8 weeks after the surgery.

What if I do not get my period soon after the abortion?

It is important that you return for your 2-week post-operative check up to make sure your recovery is going well. If you do not have a period in 8 weeks, please call us.

Can I use tampons after my surgery?

You should not use tampons after surgery. Sanitary napkins should be used to decrease the possibility of infection and to monitor the amount you are bleeding.

Can I do aerobic exercise after surgery?

You should avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting (over 15 pounds) for two weeks after the procedure.

When can I have sex again after the surgery?

You should not have sex for 2 weeks after your procedure. When you return for your 2-week checkup, your doctor will advise if you can resume sexual intercourse. We recommend that you abstain from sexual activity for 2 weeks because following your procedure you are more susceptible to infection and new pregnancy.

Why can’t I eat before surgery?

When deep sedation is administered, gag reflexes are temporarily suppressed. If food or liquid remain in the stomach, vomiting can occur and can cause suffocation.

Can I have someone come into the surgery or recovery room with me?

Your driver, friend or family member may not enter the surgery or recovery room with you, as we must protect the confidentiality of all of our patients. They can wait for you in the waiting room, or leave and come back to accompany you home after you are released

What happens to the fetus that was removed from me during the abortion?

The tissue is sent to a licensed and accredited Laboratory for analysis and is disposed of in accordance to the mandates of State law.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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