Objective: To evaluate the complications of late second-trimester abortions (18-22 weeks) by laminaria dilation and evacuation, and the obstetric outcome of subsequent pregnancies.
Methods: Dilation of the cervix was achieved by repeated laminaria tent replacement. Evacuation was carried out in the outpatient clinic using general anesthesia. After the first menstrual period, all patients were invited for examination and thereafter were asked to report the outcome of subsequent pregnancies.
Results: One hundred seventy-one late second-trimester abortions were performed. Cervical dilation was satisfactory in 158 women (92%). Operative sonography was required in nine (5%) women. One had uterine atony. Follow-up from 150 (88%) women indicated no infection, but one woman required repeat curettage for retained products of conception. There was no indication of cervical injury on cervical internal os measurements remote from abortion. Of the 50 patients who conceived and elected to continue the subsequent pregnancies, two had premature deliveries unrelated to cervical incompetence, and all others reached term.
Conclusion: Late second-trimester termination by laminaria dilation and evacuation is safe and probably not associated with future adverse pregnancy outcome.