Surgical abortion are done at the hospital. You will need at least two appointments; one for a consultation visit and the second for the surgical procedure. If your pregnancy is over 14 weeks, you will need to come to the clinic the day before the procedure for laminaria to be inserted into the cervix to soften it overnight.
At the consultation visit you will meet with the nurse and the doctor to review your options, have some blood work organized, and decide on a better birth control plan. They will answer any questions about the procedure. You will have an ultrasound and physical examination with the doctor to discuss and sign consents and be booked for the surgery. The procedure will be booked as a second appointment, at the hospital. You must arrive at the hospital 2 hours prior to your procedure.
The procedure itself takes 5-10 minutes, and the recovery about 60 minutes. It is usually done under intravenous sedation, to relax or sedate you. The cervix is frozen, so that there is minimal pain. This type of sedation is safer than a general anesthetic. Most people are at the hospital 3-5 hours and you must have someone drive you home. It is advised to have someone stay with you overnight due to variable effects of the anesthetic medication. Usually you will feel tired on the day of the procedure, but you can resume usual activities the next day unless you do heavy lifting at work, or a job that requires you be in water (swimming).
Complications are less than 1% for surgical procedures. You are given antibiotics immediately before the procedure to minimize the risk of infection. An ultrasound is used either during or after the procedure to ensure completion, and the tissue is examined before you leave the hospital. There is about 1/100,000 change of a serious reaction to the medications used or any permanant damange to the uterus. There are no known long-term effects of surgical abortion. Women are able to conceive again and have a normal pregnancy. There are no known problems or consequences with having more than one abortion.
We strongly recommend a check-up 2 weeks following the procedure. The doctor will examine you to ensure a complete recovery, and you will have a chance to discuss your feelings, and/or any remaining concerns about birth control. The check-up can also be done with your own health care provider.