3 Day Procedure with General Anesthesia
Pregnancies in the later part of the second trimester require more dilation for a safe procedure.
Between 20 and 24 weeks, the entire process takes 3 consecutive days to safely and slowly dilate the cervix. In this situation, the first day consists of ultrasound, counseling and lab work. There is an exam with the doctor, during which cervical dilators called laminaria are inserted into the cervical opening. How many depends on gestation.
There are no medications for this process. It usually takes about 2-5 minutes and may cause mild menstrual-style cramping during insertion.
Each patient is then sent home with a prescription for narcotic pain medication and information regarding her appointment the following day, when the first set of laminaria are removed and a second set are inserted for further dilation.
This appointment is late morning and generally takes 60-90 minutes. Again, the patient is sent home, this time given information regarding her surgery appointment, the next day, where both the laminaria and pregnancy are removed under general anesthesia. The surgery appointment is usually early in the morning and may take 2-3 hours.
For more information about procedures visit Lovejoy Surgicenter's website.