Services And Care
Washington Surgi-Clinic is a fully equipped gynecology office that provides family planning and gynecology services. These services include:
- » Birth control (oral contraception "the pill," Depo Provera injections, Ortho Evra patch, and others)
- » Yearly pap smear
- » Testing for sexually transmitted diseases (Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes)
- » HIV testing
- » Treatment for vaginal infections
- » Treatment for human papilloma virus (HPV) or genital warts (condylomata)
The Washington Surgi-Clinic provides legal, safe surgical and non-surgical abortions from the very earliest pregnancies up to 26 weeks of pregnancy (from the first day of the last menstrual period). We strive to support our patients, protect their personal dignity and privacy, and respect their choices during such a difficult and stressful time.
All patients are treated with individualized, personalized care. A medical history is obtained to alert the physician to medical conditions and any allergies. We check patients’ vital signs, and laboratory testing is done to verify the pregnancy and to check their blood count and Rh blood type. Warm, courteous professionals counsel each patient extensively on the benefits, risks, and alternatives of the procedure.
First Trimester Abortions
A first trimester abortion is an abortion done up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. There are two types of abortions that can be performed during the first trimester, a surgical abortion and a chemical abortion.
SURGICAl ABORTIONS- We provide surgical abortions starting from the very earliest the pregnancy can be seen by ultrasound. A surgical abortion can be done safely only if the pregnancy can be definitely seen inside the uterus on careful ultrasound exam. The lower limit of visualization of a pregnancy by ultrasound is 5 weeks by menstrual age (approximately 3 weeks after conception). The surgical abortion method used for first trimester abortions is known as suction dilatation and curettage (D&C). During the procedure, the cervical canal is very gently dilated with sterile dilators, and the uterine contents are gently suctioned out with sterile, one-use-only, disposable plastic uterine curettes.
CHEMICAl ABORTIONS- Chemical abortions may be done in pregnancies less than 6 weeks by menstrual age. In this method, medications are used to cause the pregnancy to stop growing and be expelled in a manner similar to a miscarriage. The benefits, side effects, and alternatives are extensively discussed with each patient who chooses a non-surgical abortion. While this method may be appealing to some, it is not the ideal choice for every patient.
Second Trimester Abortions
A second trimester abortion is done between 12-26 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure sometimes can involve two or three consecutive office visits all depends on ultrasound information and patient medical history, although some patients are able to have the procedure in one visit. In both cases, we use only sterilized surgical instruments and sterile, one-use-only, disposable plastic uterine curettes.
During the first step, sterile, disposable laminaria sticks are gently and expertly inserted into the cervix to dilate or open it. Once the laminaria sticks are in place inside the patient’s cervix, a period of time elapses to allow the laminaria sticks to gradually dilate the cervix. The patient usually returns to our office the following morning for the second step of the second trimester abortion.
During the second step of the procedure, the gynecologist, with special expertise in second trimester abortions, uses a method called dilatation and evacuation (D&E). D&E is the safest method for second trimester abortions. In order to increase the safety for our patients, we always use ultrasound guidance during every second trimester abortion.
Patients may choose from several methods of anesthesia, including general (asleep), twilight (conscious or awake sedation), and local (awake). For general anesthesia, we utilize very short acting anesthetic agents, which are carefully given at an individualized dose depending on the patient’s weight, response, and length of the procedure. A certified nurse anesthetist administers all anesthesia and is present during all phases of the procedure. Patients are monitored continuously for pulse oximetry, blood pressure, and pulse during the anesthesia, and until she awakens fully from the anesthesia. As an important safety measure, resuscitative equipment is readily available at all time.