- Dilation and curettage is similar to suction aspiration, except that it uses a curette, a long, looped shaped knife that scrapes the lining, placenta and fetus away from the uterus.
- A cannula may be inserted for a final suctioning.
- This procedure usually lasts 10 minutes with a possible stay of 5 hours.
D&E: Dilation & Evacuation (Within 15-21 Weeks)
- In most cases, 24 hours prior to the actual procedure, the abortion provider will insert laminaria or a synthetic dilator inside the patient’s cervix.
- Cone-shaped rods of increasing size are used to continue the dilation process.
- The cannula is inserted to begin removing tissue away from the lining. Then using a curette, the lining is scraped to remove any residuals.
- If needed, forceps may be used to remove larger parts.
- The procedure normally takes about 30 minutes and is usually performed in a hospital setting because of the greater risk for complications.
Risks and Side Effects
- Nausea, bleeding and cramping may occur for two weeks following the procedure
- Infection due to retained products of conception or infection caused by an STD or bacteria being introduced to the uterus can cause fever, pain, abdominal tenderness and possibly scar.
- Although rare, the following are additional risks related to dilation and evacuation:
- Damage to uterine lining or cervix
- Perforation of the uterus
- Blood clots.
Fetal Development: Week 14-16
- Fingerprints have developed
- Baby begins sucking
- Patient can feel baby start to move (fluttering)
Fetal Development: Week 17-20
- Nails growing on fingers and toes
- Eyebrows and eyelashes grow in
- Patient feels baby’s movements more strongly
American Pregnancy Association (2006). Surgical Abortion Procedures. Retrieved from: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/surgicalabortions.html
Mayo Clinic (2011). Fetal Development – The second trimester. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fetal-development/PR00113