In-Clinic Abortion | Surgical Abortion Procedures

Unlike medical abortion, which involves taking medication to terminate the pregnancy, surgical abortion is a more invasive procedure that can completely terminate the pregnancy in a single visit. This can be especially beneficial for women who may have medical conditions that make them less suitable candidates for medical abortion, such as those with certain blood disorders or who are taking certain medications. Additionally, surgical abortion can be more effective than medical abortion at later stages of pregnancy, when medical abortion may no longer be an option. Ultimately, the decision about which type of abortion to choose should be made based on a careful consideration of individual circumstances, including medical history, gestational age, and personal preferences and beliefs.


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Surgical Abortions

Surgical abortion, also known as as an in-clinic abortion involves using medical equipment to remove the fetus.

A gentle suction technique called vacuum aspiration is used to complete most surgeries. Although you may be in the hospital for a few hours, the procedure itself usually takes 5-10 minutes.

An in-clinic abortion procedure is usually a longer term pregnancy option than a medical abortion, or “birth control pill”. But throughout your pregnancy, you can have an abortion depending on your state’s laws and the policies of the clinic or hospital y

Surgical abortion is a commonly performed and safe procedure, with countless women undergoing the procedure every year. It’s most commonly performed in the first trimester, up to 12 weeks’ gestation with a low complication rate at this point. The surgical procedure can be performed in the second trimester, reaching up to 20 weeks gestation. This does involve a more complex procedure.

A surgical abortion in the first trimester is often carried out under conscious sedation, with the option of a local anaesthetic being available. Once the anaesthetic has fully taken effect, the surgeon inserts a small tube into the uterus and removes the contents and lining of the uterus by applying gentle suction, earning the procedure the moniker ‘suction curette’.

From the time one arrives at the surgery, through the preparation and recovery from the anaesthetic, the surgical abortion can take 4 – 5 hours, the procedure itself takes around 10 minutes. After the anaesthetic has worn off and you have been taken through some aftercare advice, you will need to be driven home.

The Risks Associated With Surgical Abortions

Surgical abortion is one of the safest operations, however, all surgery carries some risks. Although complications can occur major complications are rare. Some of the risks are as follows:

  • Incomplete abortion – Occurs when a small piece of the pregnancy or lining remains in the uterus. This may result in problematic bleeding or cramping and a repeat procedure may be required.
  • Ongoing pregnancy is uncommon (1 in 500)2 but is more likely in procedures performed under 6 weeks.
  • Infection – Although highly uncommon, less than 1% of women get an infection as you will usually be prescribed antibiotics with your procedure to reduce the risk.
  • Cervix Damage – Is uncommon and rarely has longstanding effects if it does happen.
  • Perforation of the uterus – where the surgical instruments make a hole in the wall, is potentially the most serious complication but fortunately is rare with an experienced surgeon.

Women who experience heavy bleeding, fever or severe pain or discomfort following a surgical abortion must consult a doctor as soon as possible.



suction aspiration abortion, can be performed in a one-day procedure if less than 14 weeks have passed since the first day of your last menstrual period. The procedure is done in the doctor’s office with local anesthesia and oral pain-relieving medications.

Surgical Abortion Procedures



The actual surgical procedure itself typically lasts around 10 minutes. However, the entire process, from arriving at the clinic to preparing for the surgery and finally recovering from the anaesthetic, can take up to 4-5 hours. Once the anaesthetic has worn off, and you have been given appropriate aftercare advice, it is essential to have someone drive you home for added safety.


When you are fully relaxed, the doctor, health educator and/or doctor-in-training, will ask you to undress from the waist down and put on a patient gown. Your support person can be right next to you for the whole procedure.

During the procedure, the doctor will:

1. Use a speculum to view inside your vagina
2. Clean your vagina and cervix with gauze soaked in soap
3. Apply numbing medication to your cervix
4. Dilate your cervix, the tight opening to your uterus, with thin metal rods
5. Insert a narrow flexible tube into your uterus
6. Apply gentle suction to the other end of the tube to remove all of the pregnancy tissue

Toward the end of the procedure, you may feel a cramp that feels similar to a menstrual cramp in your uterus, as it is shrinking down to its usual size.

Most of the procedure time is spent preparing your body for the procedure. The suction portion only takes about a minute and the entire procedure takes around 15 to 20 minutes.

How Long Does it Take To Recover After A Surgical Abortion?

After the procedure, you should remain resting for a few minutes. You will probably have some cramping and spotting. We will provide you with a heat pack and a menstrual pad as well as juice and crackers. When you feel able, you may get dressed.

Your health educator will then give you instructions on how to take care of your body. even after using abortion pills, The doctor will give you antibiotics and a prescription for birth control if you desire it. You will have arranged ahead of time to have someone drive you home. You should go immediately home to rest and let the medications wear off. You should be able to return to normal activities, such as work and school, the next day.

Signs To Look Out For After An Abortion


In rare cases, some women bleed more than normal after an abortion.  The best way to tell
if you are bleeding excessively is by counting the number of pads you change each hour. Call the office f you soak more than two maxi pads in one hour for two hours, or if you pass large clots or feel dizzy and light-headed—these  are signs that you are experiencing excessive blood loss.
Uterine cramping is normal after any type of abortion.  The main way that your uterus controls bleeding is by contracting, squeezing the blood vessels shut.  Heavy bleeding can happen if your uterus relaxes too much (uterine atony), which can be treated with medication, or if some pregnancy related tissue is retained in the uterus (incomplete abortion). 
Very rarely, excessive bleeding can be from a uterine injury (perforation) that occurred during the abortion.


Severe and persistent pelvic pain is not normal after an abortion. Please contact the office if you have persistent, severe pelvic or abdominal pain after taking pain medication (acetominophen, ibuprofen, naproxen).  
The most common cause of pain after an abortion, is a bacterial infection.  Most infections are mild and can be treated with oral antibiotics.  Post procedure pain or persistent pain after a medical abortion, can be caused by retained fetal or placental tissue, or blood clots.  If the tissue or clots do not pass vaginally, you may need medication (oral misoprostol) or a vacuum aspiration (suction curettage) to empty the uterus.  This will relieve the pelvic pain.
In rare cases, pain may indicate an ectopic pregnancy, when an embryo is implanted outside the uterus, most often in a fallopian tube.  A growing ectopic pregnancy can stretch and rupture the fallopian tube, causing severe pain and heavy abdominal bleeding.  An ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical attention (it is diagnosed by clinical symptoms, blood test results, a physical exam and a pelvic ultrasound), and is treated by medication (methotrexate injection) or by surgery.


If you have a persistent fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above for more than two hours, you may have an infection.  Misoprostol can cause a short term fever.  However, if you have a persistent fever for several hours, or if you have severe pain, contact our office.  


Symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue or breast tenderness usually resolve within a week or two after an abortion.  If these symptoms perist, you may still be pregnant and should visit our office for a consultation with  a pelvic sonogram.
Taking a home pregnancy test is not helpful, because you can continue to test positive for 4 to 6 weeks after an abortion, due to pregnancy hormones the are still in your body. Also, if you began using a hormone based birth control (the Pill, patch or vaginal ring) right after the abortion, be aware that these contraceptives can cause pregnancy-like symptoms, especially during the first months of use.

Unless you are experiencing complications related to the procedure, you do not need to visit our office again. We recommend that you make an appointment to see your regular doctor for an annual pap smear, physical or gynecologic exam and birth control refill requests.

Who Quaifies For A Surgical Abortion Procedure

How to prepare for a surgical abortion


The advantages of choosing a surgical abortion are:

  • It can be performed later in the pregnancy unlike a medical abortion.
  • It usually involves only one visit to the clinic;
  • There’s usually less bleeding and cramping than with a medical abortion;
  • It can be performed under twilight sedation, which reduces awareness and pain.
  • It has a very low complication rate and a high success rate.
  • You can continue to breastfeed, whereas you will need to cease breastfeeding during a medical abortion.

Making the decision to have an abortion can be difficult, and deciding which abortion option is best for you can cause more confusion. Should you or an friend need to have safe and legal abortion procedure done, Carlton abortion clinic can help and both the medical and surgical procedures are offered at affordable abortion prices. 

How Painful id a surgical abortion Make it a Heading 

Before your abortion, you’ll get pain medicine to  help with cramping. You may be able to get sedation during the abortion. With some kinds of sedation, you’re awake but super relaxed, and with others you are completely asleep. You’ll also get antibiotics to help prevent infections.

When they take you into the room they give you a light sedative and numb your cervix. The pressure from the needle is slightly painful but quick. If you are lucky you can get a doctor that can dilate you quickly before the numbness wares off. You will feel cramping from the suction…” – Shadowlove, eHealth Forum

Still Not Sure About Surgical Abortions?

Simply give us a call and book an appointment for yourself. We are here to help.
Walk into our clinic and let us take a closer look to suggest the best treatment you need.

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