Comparison of pain and time of procedures with two first-trimester abortion techniques performed by residents and faculty

Alison Edelman, Mark D. Nichols, Jeffrey Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We compared pain perception and procedure time in abortions performed by residents and faculty using a manual vacuum aspirator and electric vacuum curettage devices. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a randomized trial of 114 women undergoing first-trimester abortions. Patients assessed the level of pain with visual analog scales. RESULTS: The mean procedure times were 5.7 and 6.9 minutes, respectively, with electric vacuum curettage and manual vacuum aspirator. Faculty took less time than residents to perform both procedures. Patients reported a higher pain level with cervical dilatation before resident electric vacuum curettage procedures. Patients undergoing electric vacuum curettage thought that the procedure noise increased their pain. CONCLUSIONS: First-trimester abortion procedures can be performed more quickly by experienced surgeons. The procedure time for the manual vacuum aspirator is greater than that for the electric vacuum curettage. Patient pain perception with aspiration by these two techniques is not different. The level of pain after aspiration did not vary significantly in patients who had abortions performed by residents or faculty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1564-1567
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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