2nd Trimester Abortion (D&E) 12-21.6 weeks
Second Trimester Abortion: Dilation and Evacuation (12—21.6 weeks)
The dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion is a 2-day outpatient procedure. It is used to terminate pregnancies beyond the 12th week. It is recognized to be the safest procedure for the termination of pregnancies in the second trimester.
On the first day, you will complete some paperwork and read through an informational notebook. When you are finished, you will have an ultrasound. This shows how far along you are in your pregnancy. The ultrasound does not hurt. You will then be asked to leave a urine sample. A patient coordinator will then check your blood pressure, temperature, height and weight. You will have a finger-poke to check your Rh type (the positive or negative part of your blood) and iron level.
Next, you will meet privately with a patient coordinator who will review your medical history. The patient coordinator will explain the procedure to you in detail and answer any questions you may have.
You will then be examined by a clinician who will insert osmotic dilators into your cervix. The two types of osmotic dilators used at the clinic are laminaria, slim sticks of sterile seaweed, and synthetic dilators, man-made sterile, dry sponges. The clinician will insert the dilators into the cervical opening, where they will remain in place overnight. During the insertion of the dilators, you may feel some cramping similar to menstrual cramps. The osmotic dilators swell by absorbing the natural fluids of the cervix, thereby slowly dilating the cervical opening. The insertion of the osmotic dilators is the first part of the D&E procedure. Once the procedure has begun, you must return to the clinic on the second day for the completion of your abortion. If you do not return to the clinic, serious complications could occur. To prepare for your surgery appointment, it is very important that you do not eat, drink, chew or smoke anything after midnight.
When you return to the clinic, you will be given general anesthesia by an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. Once you are asleep, the doctor, who is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, will perform your abortion. The contents of the uterus are removed by a combination of methods: the use of specially designed instruments and vacuum aspiration (gentle suction). You will be asleep during the entire procedure, which usually takes approximately 15 minutes.
You will be required to spend from an hour to an hour and a half in our recovery for observation and rest. Before you are released, our staff will confirm that your ride is in the lobby to drive you home. Under no circumstances will you be allowed to leave without a ride home. You must have someone pick you up. You may not take public transportation, take a taxi alone, or drive yourself home.