Complications of Surgical Abortion
No procedure in medicine is totally free of potential complications. Anesthetic complications include allergy to the drug used (which is very rare) and a reaction to high levels of the local anesthetic drug in the bloodstream (which is fairly common). These symptoms may include a sense of dizziness, ringing in the ears, taste in the mouth, all of which disappear in a couple of minutes and are no threat to health or safety. Some women feel nauseated during or after the procedure.
Other potential problems may include:
- Failure to remove all of the tissue from the uterus. The physician may suspect this at the time of the procedure and perform an ultrasound to monitor the completeness of the procedure. If tissue is retained, the procedure will be repeated.
- Heavy bleeding may occur during or after the procedure, however, we use medications which are usually effective in controlling this type of bleeding.
- Infection may be diagnosed a few days after the procedure if the patient develops a fever and/or lower abdominal pain. Antibiotics will usually treat infection successfully.
- Perforation of the uterus is the most serious problem that could occur. Should this occur, hospitalization or additional surgery may be necessary. Fortunately, this issue is extremely rare.
While you are under our medical care, we are prepared to fully manage any of these concerns.
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Exhale offers a free, After-Abortion Talkline
that provides emotional support, resources
and information to women who have had
abortions and to their partners, friends,
allies and family members. All calls are completely confidential and counselors are non-judgmental.
Frequently Asked Questions
National Organization for Women
Rochester, NY Chapter
Monroe County Medical Society
Medical Society of the State of New York
National Abortion Federation
J Fam Pract. 1997