Home Uncategorized How Long Does A Surgical Abortion Take

How Long Does A Surgical Abortion Take

by Lyndon Langley
How Long Does A Surgical Abortion Take

How Long Does A Surgical Abortion Take

If you’ve made the decision to have an abortion and want more information about your options or if you’re considering having a surgical abortion at home, it’s important to ask how long the procedure typically lasts. Most people who experience medical procedures in clinics expect them to take between 15-20 minutes. If they last much longer than that, there could be problems — particularly when it comes to anesthesia. But what happens during the other nine hours? How do doctors decide on the right amount of time for the procedure?
Surgical abortion patients will often receive some kind of sedation to make the process less painful. Sedatives work by slowing down brain activity, so patients won’t feel any pain from the procedure. They can either get a local or general anesthesia. Some women choose not to use any sedation because they find the entire experience uncomfortable. Others think that using sedation makes their abortion easier to handle emotionally. In addition, these drugs can cause nausea, vomiting and dizziness. For this reason, many physicians recommend general anesthesia over local anesthesia. Because general anesthesia keeps someone unconscious throughout the entire procedure, it leaves no room for mistakes. This means that anyone performing the abortion needs to be skilled and experienced. General anesthesia can also delay the start of post-procedure care, delaying recovery times. Finally, general anesthesia increases complications from surgery.
As with all types of surgeries, timing plays a critical role in ensuring safety. It’s normal for a patient to become restless after an injection has taken effect, especially as the patient waits for the doctor to begin the procedure. Doctors usually give patients something to eat and drink before beginning the procedure and again once the procedure begins. However, if a woman becomes restless too early, she could miss her window of opportunity. Therefore, a physician must wait until a certain point in the procedure before giving a sedative. He or she will then watch the patient closely and act accordingly.
After the initial sedation, the doctor will move on to dilating the cervix. With each passing week, the cervix expands slightly, making it harder for a fetus to pass through the birth canal. One way to open the cervix is by inserting a small plastic device (known as a cannula) inside the vagina. Once inserted, the cannula creates a suction force that helps soften the walls of the cervix. Without the suction, the cervix would remain closed like a fist. After the cervical opening stretches enough to accommodate the baby, the doctor will remove the cannula and insert his or her fingers to widen the opening further. Next he or she will use another tool known as a curette (a sharpened spoon-like instrument) to scrape away excess tissue. These steps ensure that the uterus contracts properly after removing the baby. When the procedure is complete, the doctor will close the wound with sutures.
With an ultrasound examination, patients determine whether their pregnancy is viable. Many states require an ultrasound prior to receiving anesthesia. An ultrasound determines whether the fetus is large enough to survive outside the womb. Ultrasounds also check the position of the fetus; if the head isn’t facing downward, the doctor might need to perform additional tests to figure out why.
Some states require patients to consult with an abortion provider before obtaining one. Consultations vary depending on state laws. While waiting to see their health professional, patients can read books such as “Abortion Facts” provided by NARAL Pro Choice America, or listen to audio materials available online.
Now let’s look at the specifics of the procedure.
Pain Medication Used To Treat Pain From Surgical Abortion Procedures
Most patients undergoing surgical abortions receive some form of pain relief medication. Patients can either receive injections of medicine directly into the cervix, tablets taken orally or both.
Depending on the specific method used, patients may experience cramping, bleeding, vaginal discharge or spotting. All of these symptoms are natural occurrences following a miscarriage. Cramps occur due to uterine contractions. Bleeding occurs when the body releases a few drops of blood to help break down the lining of the uterus. Vaginal discharge is caused by fluid leaking from the vagina as part of the expulsion process. Spotting refers to occasional staining in the underwear, since urine tends to collect near the cervix.
On the next page we’ll talk about the different stages of the surgical abortion.
During the second trimester of pregnancy, the most common surgical method is known as saline solution infusion. The doctor injects a needle into the center of the uterus to create a channel leading to the amniotic sac. Through the channel, the doctor slowly fills the sac with sterile salt water. The saline solution forces the contents of the sac back up the fallopian tubes and out of the body. Women often describe feeling pressure and discomfort while the liquid is being forced through the uterus.
Procedures For Third Trimester Pregnancies
Third-trimester surgical abortions differ from those performed earlier in pregnancy. Since the fetus grows larger, it requires more time to expel. In fact, the procedure can sometimes take several days. The first step is to induce labor by injecting prostaglandin F2 alpha (also known as Misoprostol). Usually, this drug is administered vaginally. Depending on the dosage used, patients may experience severe cramping, diarrhea and vomiting within two to six hours. Within 12 hours, the cervix will have opened sufficiently wide enough to permit removal of the fetus.
In order to expedite the process, some physicians administer oxytocin, a hormone produced naturally by the body. Oxytocin stimulates contraction of the muscles surrounding the cervix. Although necessary, oxytocin alone cannot induce labor. Instead, it acts as a trigger to speed up the process. After administration, patients will go through two separate phases. First, the uterus contracts forcefully to push the fetal remains toward the cervix. Then the uterus relaxes to finish the job.
A third option involves inducing labor artificially using Pitocin instead of prostaglandin F2 alpha. Unlike prostaglandin F2 alpha, pitocin does not cross the placenta barrier. Pitocin is a synthetic version of human oxytocin. Like its natural counterpart, it causes strong uterine contractions and induces labor within 24 hours. Both methods increase the risk of infection. In order to prevent infections, nurses monitor patients’ vital signs and keep them clean. Nurses also provide supportive services including frequent checks of temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration. Other nursing duties include cleaning wounds and administering medications.

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