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Complications of Surgical Abortion


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2009 - Volume 52 - Issue 2 - p 205-212
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181a2b756
Pregnancy Termination

Surgical abortion is one of the most common procedures performed in reproductive-aged women and when performed by a skilled provider in the appropriate setting, it is one of the safest surgeries. Though the risk of complications is low, it increases exponentially with gestational age. Factors increasing risk of morbidity may be demographic, such as increasing patient age; medical, such as prior cesarean delivery; and procedural, such as inadequate dilation. This chapter will provide information on how to recognize factors that increase risk, steps to minimize risk, and to identify and manage complications promptly.

Bixby Center for Reproductive Health and Policy, and San Francisco General Hospital, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, California

Funding Disclosures: None.

Correspondence: Jody Steinauer, MD, MAS, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, San Francisco General Hospital Ward 6D-14, 1001 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, CA. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.