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A surgical abortion is a simple procedure to end a pregnancy. You may have a surgical abortion if you are more than nine weeks pregnant when you decide to have a termination, but the procedure can be performed earlier if you are unable to take the abortion pill.

If you are considering a surgical abortion, you will meet with Mr Michael Stafford for an initial consultation at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London. He will help you to understand all of your options and explain the procedure in detail. You will also have some medical checks at this appointment, including a blood test, screening for infections, and an ultrasound scan.

A surgical termination could be the right procedure if you are between 9 and 19 weeks pregnant when you decide to have an abortion. You may need to have a surgical abortion earlier than this if you are unable to have a medical abortion due to an allergy or health condition. If you are less than 12 weeks pregnant, you may want to consider manual vacuum aspiration instead of a surgical termination.

The surgical termination procedure is also known as dilation and evacuation. You will be given medication to dilate or open up your cervix. The medication usually needs to be taken the day before or on the morning of the procedure. You will then be admitted to the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital for half a day in order to have the evacuation procedure.

You will usually be given a light general anaesthetic before a surgical abortion, so you will be asleep during the procedure. The doctor will use specially designed instruments to remove the contents of your womb through the dilated cervix. You won’t require any incisions or stitches.

The surgical abortion procedure only takes about ten minutes, but you will need to stay in the hospital for a few hours while you recover from the anaesthetic. You should arrange for someone to pick you up afterwards as you will need to rest for the next 24-48 hours.

You should expect to experience some bleeding and cramping for a week or two after a surgical abortion, which you can manage with sanitary towels and painkillers. Other complications are rare, but it is important to discuss them with your doctor before the procedure:

  • Nausea and diarrhoea due to the medication
  • Allergic reaction to the anaesthetic
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Damage to the womb or cervix, which could require surgical repair
  • Infection

The Chelsea & Westminster Hospital is well prepared to handle any problems that might arise during the operation. You will also have a follow up appointment with Mr Michael Stafford to ensure that you are recovering well from the procedure.

To learn more about surgical abortion and to discuss your options with an experienced doctor, make an appointment for an initial consultation in London.

077 0832 3025