Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is a heart condition most commonly found in new born babies. In this, abnormal blood flow occurs between two of the major arteries connected to the heart. This is a congenital disorder in the heart. PDA is a particularly common problem in premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome. Before birth, blood pumped from the heart through the pulmonary artery towards the lungs is shunted into the aorta. This arterial shunt is a short vessel called the ductus arteriosus. When the shunt is open, it is said to be patent. The ductus arteriosus usually closes shortly after the birth of the baby allowing the flow of blood from that moment to course from the heart directly to the lungs. However, if the ductus arteriosus remains open or patent then the flow reverses and the blood from the aorta is shunted left to right into the pulmonary artery and hence recirculated through the lungs. This may increase the risk of serious complications including brain hemorrhage.
PDA in children can be cured in multiple ways; the doctor can either prescribe medication for the child or can adopt catheter based processes in which a small metal coil or other blocking device is passed through catheter and placed in the PDA to block blood flow through the vessel. Surgery procedures can also be adopted. A surgery for PDA may be done if a premature or full term infant develops health problems from PDA and is too small to have a catheter based procedure or if the PDA was not successfully closed by the catheter procedure. During the surgery, the child will be given medicines to sleep so that he doesn’t feel any discomfort. The surgeon makes a small incision between the child’s ribs to gain access to the PDA and then he/she will close the PDA with stitches or clips.

The procedure may last for 1-2hrs.

In normal cases, the child may be hospitalized for 2 days after the surgery. But in the case of premature babies,the hospital stay might be longer due to other health issues.
After the surgery, health tourists or patients can return to their home within 3 days in usual circumstances.
After the PDA surgery, the patients have to be treated with utmost care. Given below are some guidelines for their effective recovery.
  •  Limit the child’s activity at home till recovery
  •  Follow up appointments with the child’s doctor
  • Regular intake of prescribed medication if any.


Even though PDA closure is considered as one of the surgeries with fewer chances of long term complications, there are some elements of risks because of its surgical nature;
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Movement of the blocking device from where it was placed.
  • Narrowing of the aorta
  • Incomplete closure or reopening of the PDA


Most patients are healthy and lead normal lives after the treatment for Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).

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