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Frequently Asked Questions

Does it hurt?
Depending on the type of anesthesia, there is discomfort associated with the abortion procedure. This discomfort is experienced in the form of cramping such as those you may feel with your menstrual period. The cramping may be mild to moderate, and in some cases with local anesthesia, it is relatively uncomfortable.

If you choose to have IV sedation, you should not feel any cramping that you would not be able to comfortably tolerate. IV sedation is recommended for patients who may be nervous and apprehensive, for those individuals with a lower tolerance to pain, or for anyone who desires to have the procedure performed with less discomfort.

We also offer general anesthesia which involves being completely asleep during the procedure.

What are the differences between IV Sedation and Monitored Anesthesia?
IV Sedation greatly reduces a patient's feelings of anxiety, and causes tremendous relaxation. The patient is still aware of what is taking place, and is able to communicate with the medical staff.

Monitored Anesthesia will cause the patient to be completely asleep and unaware of what is taking place during the procedure. Patients will only have to be asleep for the duration of the procedure, and can expect to be fully awake within minutes after completion.
If a patient elects to have IV Sedation or Monitored Anesthesia, she must be accompanied by one adult to drive her home.

How much will it cost?
The cost of a pregnancy termination varies according to gestational age and the choice of anesthesia. We strive to offer the highest level of quality care at the lowest possible cost. We believe that not only will our patients find our fees to be as low, and in some areas even lower than those of our competitors, but also that there are more benefits included with the cost of our services.

Do you have a payment plan?
We regret that we are unable to provide payment plans. Payment is expected in full on the day of your procedure. For your convenience we accept cash and all major credit cards, however, we are unable to accept personal checks.

Is the procedure covered by my health insurance?
Many policies do cover elective abortion. We will contact your insurance company to determine if elective abortion is covered under your policy. And if we do not have a contract with your plan, we will check if you have out-of-network benefits. As soon as we have verified your coverage and deductible, we will let you know.

How long does the abortion procedure take?
Depending on the length of your pregnancy the actual procedure may take from only 3 to 7 minutes. Why does the entire visit require 2 or more hours?

Although the actual procedure takes only a few minutes, there are various other important aspects to your visit. Upon arrival, you will be asked to complete medical history forms and read a variety of information and consent forms. You will receive laboratory tests - an analysis of your blood volume, your Rh factor and a routine urinalysis including a pregnancy test.

Your pre-operative vital signs such as temperature, pulse, and respiration will be established. Once your laboratory tests have been completed, you will spend time with a nurse-counselor. She will review all of your forms with you to determine that you fully understand all of the information presented. She will explain the abortion procedure, the risks involved and discuss with you what you may expect afterwards. You will then be escorted to an examination room or a patient waiting area. Once the procedure has been completed, you will be given the necessary amount of recovery time prior to leaving.

Is everything confidential?
Yes, everything is strictly confidential. We cannot give out any information about a patient without her written permission.

How is a surgical abortion performed?
The cervix is locally anesthetized with Lidocaine, which is similar to Novocaine. The cervix is then dilated to allow for access to the uterus. A hollow plastic tube comparable to a drinking straw is inserted into the uterus, and the contents are then removed by suction aspiration.

Which procedure is better, the surgical or the medical?
This is an individual decision. Some women feel the surgical is better because it is not drawn out over a number of days. Other women feel the medical may be more advantageous because they will not have to wait until they are six weeks pregnant to have the procedure performed. Some women also feel the medical method is better because it is less invasive and does not require surgical instruments. Each woman may decide which procedure is best suited for her individual needs.

Which procedure is less painful?
The level of discomfort varies from person to person because every individual has a different degree of pain tolerance. Most women feel that because the medical procedure is less invasive, it is therefore less painful.

Are there any restrictions following an abortion procedure?
There are only a few restrictions a patient must follow after an abortion procedure; however, these limitations are very necessary to achieve full recovery. For three weeks after having a surgical abortion a patient cannot insert anything into the vagina. This means no tampons, no douching, and no sexual intercourse. Swimming, tub bathing, heavy lifting, strenuous activity, sun bathing and standing for prolonged periods of time are also prohibited.

After having a medical abortion, there are very few restrictions. Following the first week of the procedure there are no restrictions. After the second week, it is recommended that nothing be inserted into the vagina for two weeks. This includes the same restrictions as with the surgical abortion.

How soon can I return to work or school after having an abortion?
Most women may return the following day. If your schedule involves heavy lifting or strenuous activity, we will provide a work or school excuse indicating that you must avoid certain activities for three weeks.

Will an abortion have any effect on future pregnancies?
Having an abortion is safer than full term labor and delivery. It is unlikely that you would experience any lasting complications from an abortion procedure; however, as with any type of surgical procedure there are always some risks involved.

How long after having an abortion will I have bleeding?
This will vary from patient to patient. The bleeding will be similar to that of a menstrual period. Patients may expect to have bleeding from one to seven days. Spotting may even be experienced for the duration of a month. The bleeding may be very light to somewhat heavy. Some blood clots may be passed, and this is normal.

When can I expect to have a normal period?
Most women will have a normal period within 4 to 6 weeks after having an abortion.

Is it necessary to come to the facility for a pregnancy test prior to my appointment?
No. It is not necessary because we will be performing a pregnancy test along with your other laboratory tests on the day of your procedure.

Is the abortion performed by a "real" doctor?
All of our physicians are licensed medical doctors who have specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Our physicians are extensively trained and highly experienced in performing pregnancy terminations. All of our staff members are experienced and tremendously dedicated to providing the utmost care to our patients.

The safety and well-being of our patients is always our first priority. We pride ourselves in providing the highest level of quality healthcare to the women of our communities.

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Atlanta SurgiCenter
3114 Mercer University Drive, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30341