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Surgical Abortion Clinics of Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Fullerton

Surgical Abortion:

An abortion is defined as ending of a pregnancy prior to 20 weeks, regardless of the reason behind it. It may be spontaneous (as in a miscarriage), or an elective or induced termination.

There are two ways of inducing an abortion: by medical or surgical means. A pill causes a miscarriage in the case of the medical option.

The procedure is commonly referred to as a dilation and curettage (D and C). The dilation refers to the dilation (or opening) of the cervix. The cervix is the structure on the uterus that is the opening into the vagina, and is therefore the access point into and out of the uterus. The curettage refers to the evacuation of the contents of the uterus in order to achieve the removal.

Prior to the cervical dilation process, a local anesthetic is given to numb the cervix and minimize discomfort. Lidocaine is circumferentially injected around the cervix, providing a cervical block of the nerves that arise from the cervix. We do not recommend general anesthesia (going to sleep), because inducing severe sedation can jeopardize the body’s normal reflexes and cause loss of breathing, which is potentially dangerous. Since the procedure is relatively quick and minor, the safest way to achieve pregnancy elimination by is with local anesthesia.

During this process, the cervix has to be opened in order to obtain access to the uterus. This can be accomplished via mechanical means, chemical means, or both.

Dilators are utilized to physically open the cervix sequentially, starting at a low caliper and slowly moving upwards. Laminaria are small objects that also open the cervix mechanically, and are made of a type of seaweed plant. Prostaglandin is utilized to soften and open the cervix chemically. The amount of dilation depends on the gestation of the pregnancy. The further along the pregnancy, the higher the caliper of dilation in order to be able to terminate it.

A small curette (plastic catheter) is then passed into the uterus, and using suction, the contents of the uterus are evacuated.

We provide abortion for patients in Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, and Fullerton.