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Surgical Closure of Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about surgical closure of my child's PDA?

Surgical closure of a PDA is done if the PDA is too large to be closed by other methods or your child's symptoms are severe. This surgery is also called surgical ligation.

How do I prepare my child for surgery?

Your child's healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare your child for surgery. The provider may tell you not to give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight on the day of surgery. The provider will tell you what medicines your child should take or not take on the day of surgery.

What will happen during the surgery?

Your child will be given general anesthesia to keep him or her asleep and pain free during the surgery. Your child's healthcare provider will give your child an antibiotic to prevent infection. An incision will be made between 2 ribs on the left side of your child's chest near his or her armpit. Stitches or metal clips will be used to close the PDA. The incision in your child's chest will be closed with stitches.

What will happen after the surgery?

Your child may need to stay in the hospital for up to 3 days. Your child may be given liquids at first. If his stomach does not get upset, your child may slowly begin to eat solid foods.

What are the risks of surgical closure of a PDA?

Your child may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Fluid may build up in the space around your child's lungs. Your child's vocal cords may become paralyzed from damage to the laryngeal nerve. 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.

Care Agreement

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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