Surgical First Trimester Abortion – Up to 11 Weeks, 6 Days
Our Process to Prepare You
When you arrive at Atlanta Women’s Center (formerly Atlanta Women’s Medical Center) for your abortion, you will be treated with compassion and respect while receiving the highest quality, individualized medical care. Your service will include a series of pre-operative assessments with medical and counseling staff.
You will receive the following care as we prepare you for your abortion procedure at Atlanta Women’s Center:
- Ultrasound – The ultrasound exam is used to measure the size of your pregnancy and determine where you are in your pregnancy.
- Lab testing – Blood work is completed in order to determine your Rh factor (the positive or negative of your blood type) and your hemoglobin level (the level of iron in your blood). Your blood pressure, weight and temperature will also be measured.
- History and Physical – Your medical history and current physical state will be reviewed, and birth control options will be discussed.
- Counseling – You have an opportunity to meet in private with a counselor or health advocate to address your questions, concerns and feelings about pregnancy and the procedure.
After your pre-operative assessment has been completed, you will be prepared for your surgery and escorted to the operating room. During the surgery there will be a team of medical professionals in the operating room with you (depending on your individual needs).
First Trimester Abortion
Abortion procedures in Atlanta in the first trimester of pregnancy are performed within the first 11 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, and are completed by a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D&E). The procedure will take approximately 5 minutes, although your visit to the Center may take several hours.
The procedure can be performed with either local or IV sedation. If you choose local anesthesia you will be awake and conscious during your procedure. You will receive a local anesthetic which will relax your cervix, but you will still experience cramping and discomfort during the procedure. If you choose IV sedation you will be completely sedated, and you will not see, hear or feel any part of the surgery.
The procedure will begin when the physician inserts a speculum into your vagina in order to view your cervix. The physician will then dilate (open) your cervix by inserting thin, metal rods, one by one, into the opening of the cervix. These rods, called dilators, gradually increase in width. A narrow, flexible tube will be inserted into the uterus and a vacuum aspirator will create a suction which removes the pregnancy. The doctor may then use a small spoon-like instrument, called a curette, to go along the wall of the uterus to ensure that all pregnancy tissue has been removed. After your surgery, you will be monitored in our recovery room until you are medically cleared to go home, usually 30-45 minutes.
If you choose to have IV sedation, you will not be able to drive yourself and will need to make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from Atlanta Women’s Center. If you choose to have local anesthesia you are able to drive yourself home after your surgery.
Click here for a copy of our pre-appointment reminders (AWC – Appointment Confirmation and Reminders for Patients) and click here (AWC Post Op Instructions) for a copy of our discharge instructions (these will also be provided to you on the day of your procedure).