Vacuum aspiration, also called suction aspiration, is a minor surgical procedure used to clear the contents of the uterus during the first trimester of pregnancy. A thin tube (cannula) is inserted into the uterus. Then a specially designed syringe or pump is used to suction out all tissue contained in the uterus.
Vacuum aspiration is the most common abortion method used in the first 5 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. First, the cervix is opened (dilated), and an antibiotic is given to prevent infection. Then a tube is passed into the uterus, and suction is applied to gently remove all tissue from the uterus.
Vacuum aspiration is also used to empty the uterus after an incomplete miscarriage.
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRebecca H. Allen, MD, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise