Surgical Abortion Specialist

Access Health Center

Women's Health Center located in Downers Grove, IL

If you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and you’ve made the decision to have an abortion, your options are largely determined by how far along you are in your pregnancy. A surgical abortion can safely and effectively end a pregnancy in its early stages, all the way up to 17.5 weeks of gestation. Access Health Care in Downers Grove, Illinois, offers comprehensive abortion services, including surgical abortion, to patients in the greater Chicagoland area. To find out more, call or book your appointment online today.

Surgical Abortion Q & A

Access Health Center

What is a Surgical Abortion?

Surgical abortion, also known as an in-clinic abortion, is a safe and effective medical procedure that terminates pregnancy. There are two types of surgical abortions, both of which use suction to gently remove a pregnancy from your uterus:

  • First-Trimester Surgical Abortion: If you’re still in your first trimester, or five to 12 weeks pregnant as determined by ultrasound, surgical abortion is a short procedure that involves vacuum aspiration or suction curettage, also known as a D&C. This operation is performed without an incision, and you are placed under twilight anesthesia during the procedure.
  • Second-Trimester Surgical Abortion: If you’re more than 12 weeks pregnant, you’re in your second trimester. Second trimester abortions can be performed for women who are 12 to just over 17 weeks pregnant as determined by ultrasound; the latest this type of abortion can be legally performed is at 17 weeks and 3 days of gestation.

How is a Second-Trimester Abortion Performed?

A second trimester surgical abortion is a two-step process that takes two days to complete. The first step, and the time in between, is necessary to prepare the body for the second step, which is the procedure itself.

The first step in the process is gradually dilating your cervix over the course of several hours. The abortion itself is performed by removing the contents of your uterus with a gentle suction and medical tools.   

As with a first trimester surgical abortion, twilight anesthesia is recommended.

How Effective are Surgical Abortions?

Surgical abortion is 99% effective, meaning fewer than 1% of patients require a repeat procedure. At Access Health Center, you can feel secure in the knowledge that you’re under direct medical supervision during the abortion process.

Why Do Women Choose A Surgical Abortion?

Women who’ve decided to terminate a pregnancy may choose surgical abortion because it’s one of the safest surgical procedures in the United States. Unlike a medical abortion, which you have at home, a surgical abortion takes place in a medical clinic with the support of nurses, doctors, and trained support staff who are there the whole time.

Surgical abortions are also much faster than a medical abortion. Once you’re fully dilated, an in-clinic abortion usually takes about five to 10 minutes; in contrast, a medical abortion may take up to 24 hours to complete.

Before you choose which procedure to have, the medical team at Access Health Center will guide you through the process and gladly answer any questions you have along the way.