Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Treatment

Small patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) often close over time and only require anti-infection medications. If the PDA is large, congestive heart failure may develop and other medications may be needed. In newborns, a drug called Indomethacin may be given to help close the PDA.

If a PDA remains open when your child is 1 to 2 years of age or if congestive heart failure doesn't respond to medication, the opening must be closed by surgery or a less invasive procedure called cardiac catheterization.

Cardiac catheterization uses long, flexible, narrow tubes, called catheters, which are inserted through a tiny incision into the large blood vessels in the legs. The tubes are directed through the blood vessels to the heart. Once in the heart, the catheters are used as conduits to place small metal coils or plugs in the ductus vessel. The coil or plug blocks blood flow through the ductus and is covered completely by the lining of the blood vessel.

This procedure takes about three hours and is performed in our Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. In most cases, patients are discharged from the hospital the same day as the procedure.

Surgery may be necessary if the PDA is large or the baby is very young. A small incision is made on the left side of the chest between the ribs. The ductus is either tied off or divided. The surgery usually requires a hospital stay of several days for recovery.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Heart Center

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
1975 Fourth St., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-1955
Fax: (415) 353-9144

Cardiothoracic Surgery Program
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3501
Fax: (415) 353-4144

Interventional Cardiology Program
1975 Fourth St., Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-4704
Fax: (415) 353-4144
Appointment information

Pediatric Heart Center Clinic at Mission Bay
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2008
Fax: (415) 353-4144
Appointment information

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