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Patent Ductus Arteriosus Ligation In Children


Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) ligation is surgery to close the opening between your child's aorta and pulmonary artery.


Before your child's surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your child's vein. Healthcare providers use the IV to give your child medicine or liquids.
  • Blood tests are done to see how your child's body is doing and if he is ready for surgery. Your child may need to have blood drawn more than once.
  • Cardiac catheterization is a test that uses pictures to see how well your child's heart is working. Healthcare providers may do this to find out the size of your child's PDA. A tube is moved into your child's heart through a blood vessel in his leg or arm. Dye may be given so pictures of your child's arteries show up better. Your healthcare provider may also measure the pressure inside your child's heart.
  • A chest x-ray is a picture of your child's lungs and heart. It can show if heart chambers, pulmonary arteries, or aorta are larger than they should be.
  • An echocardiogram uses sound waves to show pictures of the size and shape of your child's heart. This test can show how well your child's heart is pumping. It can also find heart problems, such as fluid around the heart and heart valve problems.
  • An EKG records the electrical activity of your child's heart. It is used to check for problems caused by the size of your child's heart.
  • General anesthesia is medicine to keep your child asleep and free from pain during the surgery. Your child may be given anesthesia through his IV, a mask, or a tube placed down his throat.

During your child's surgery:

An incision is made between 2 ribs on the left side of your child's chest. Stitches or metal clips are used to close the PDA. The incision in your child's chest is closed with wire and stitches or staples.

After your child's surgery:

Your child will be taken to a room to rest until he is fully awake. Do not let your child get out of bed until healthcare providers say it is okay. When healthcare providers see that he is okay, he will be taken to his room.

  • Bandages are used to keep your child's incision clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandages shortly after surgery to check the incision.
  • Chest tubes may be put into your child's chest during surgery. Chest tubes remove air, blood, or fluid from around the lungs.
  • Medicines:
    • Antibiotics help your child's body fight infection.
    • Antinausea medicine helps calm your child's stomach and control vomiting.
    • Heart medicine helps your child's heart beat regularly.
    • Pain medicine helps decrease pain. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Do not let your child's pain get severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Your child will be able to eat and drink gradually after surgery. He will begin with ice chips or clear liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If his stomach does not become upset, he may then eat soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once he can eat soft foods easily, he may slowly begin to eat solid foods.


Your child may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your child's vocal cords may become paralyzed. Your child may get a pneumothorax. This happens when air gets inside the space between his lungs and chest wall. This may be life-threatening. Without surgery, your child's symptoms may get worse. The pressure in his lungs may increase. He may develop serious health problems, such as a heart infection or congestive heart failure. These health problems can be life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Patent Ductus Arteriosus Ligation In Children (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes