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There are different types of anesthesia, only one of which renders a patient completely unconscious. General anesthesia allows patients to have surgical procedures without feeling pain or being aware of anything. If you’re planning to have a first or second-trimester abortion , general anesthesia may be one of your options. The gynecologist will explain your choices and make sure that general anesthesia is safe for you.

Patient undergoing anesthesia

Discuss general anesthesia with your gynecologist.

Your doctor will help you determine if general anesthesia is right for you. You’ll discuss your health history, including whether you have any allergies and whether you smoke. Disclose all of the medications and supplements you’re taking, as some medicines may increase the risk of anesthesia-related complications. If you’ve previously had general anesthesia with no complications, it’s likely that you’ll be able to have it again.

Follow the pre-procedure directions carefully.

Your gynecologist will give you detailed instructions to follow leading up to your pregnancy termination. For your own safety, it’s crucial to follow these directions and to let the doctor know if you had any problems with adherence. Your doctor will let you know when you need to stop eating and drinking before the procedure. If you have to take medications, you may be told to do so with a small sip of water. For 1 to 2 weeks before the surgery, your doctor may instruct you to discontinue certain medicines, such as blood thinners.

Make arrangements for your recovery.

All patients who have general anesthesia are unable to drive or operate heavy machinery for the rest of the day. You’ll need to have a responsible adult take you home and stay with you for about 24 hours. After general anesthesia, it’s normal to feel groggy, disoriented, and slightly confused. These side effects won’t last long, but don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you think you might be experiencing complications.

Patients at Washington Surgi-Clinic can choose from local anesthesia, conscious sedation, and general anesthesia when having a surgical abortion in Washington, D.C. We are committed to patient safety, and always have a certified nurse anesthetist present during every minute of the procedure. Call (202) 659-9403 to request a confidential pregnancy termination consultation.