A first trimester abortion can be performed immediately after a pregnancy is confirmed, typically around 4.5 weeks from the first day of the patient's last missed period at the earliest. This type of abortion can be done up until 12 weeks from the first day of the patient's last period.
First, Dr. Seletz will verify the pregnancy using ultrasound. This allows for accurate dating and also allows the doctor to look for any medical issues that could impact the abortion. Patients can select the anesthesia they prefer. The majority of patients opt for IV anesthesia, as it allows them to sleep through the procedure. In twilight anesthesia, the patient will be awake but may doze lightly during the abortion due to sedatives.
A vacuum aspiration is used for first trimester abortions. Although many abortion providers discourage patients from having vacuum aspiration before the 7 week mark in the pregnancy, Dr. Seletz is highly experienced with early surgical abortions. She has safely and successfully performed several thousand early surgical abortions for her patients since 1992. In a vacuum aspiration, the cervix will be dilated to a small degree (3-4 mm) so a tiny suction tube can be inserted. The uterus will be emptied into this suction tube, and the tube is removed with no need for stitches.
Following a first trimester abortion, patients are able to rest quietly in a private recovery area. Dr. Seletz will administer any medication needed during and after the abortion. Most patients are in the office for a total of about 2 hours, including the recovery period. Patients should arrange for a friend or family member to drive them home after the procedure. Some bleeding and cramping after the procedure is normal. Patients can typically go back to their regular schedule the day after the procedure.
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