Repair of patent ductus arteriosus

Patent ductus arterious (PDA) is a heart defect that is found days or weeks after a child is born. It is a persistent opening that occurs in between the two major blood vessels in the heart. The opening is called a ductus arteriosus, and it may normally close shortly after birth. Patent ductus arteriosus occurs when a ductus arteriosus does not resolve itself.

What are the related symptoms of patent ductus arteriosus?

Symptoms of patent ductus arteriosus vary depending on the size of the defect and whether your baby was carried full term or is premature. A small patent ductus arterious may not cause any symptoms even until adulthood; however, a large patent ductus arterious may cause signs of heart failure after birth. A large patent ductus arterious in infants or during childhood may cause symptoms such as:

  • Poor eating which then results in poor growth
  • Sweating when crying or eating
  • Persistent fast breathing or breathlessness when playing, eating and crying
  • Easily getting tired when eating or playing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Infections

Symptoms of patent ductus arteriosus may appear to be other health conditions. It is essential that you seek medical attention for diagnosis and treatment.

How are patent ductus arteriosus repaired?

Treatment depends entirely on your child's symptoms, age, how severe the condition is and your child's general health. Dr Dongo may recommend the following procedures to repair the defect:

  • Catheter procedure
    This procedure is not recommended for premature babies; however, if your baby doesn't have any patent ductus arteriosus related health issues, then the doctor may recommend that a catheter procedure to repair the defect when your baby is older. This procedure may also be used to treat patent ductus arteriosus in full-term babies, children and adults. During this procedure, Dr Dongo will insert a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in the groin to access the heart. He will then pass through a plug or mesh and close the patent ductus arteriosus.
  • Surgical closure
    If conservative treatment isn't effective, and your child's condition is progressing, leading to complications, the doctor may recommend surgery. During this procedure, Dr Dongo will make a small incision in your child's chest, in between the ribs to access the heart. He will then repair the patent ductus arteriosus utilizing stitches or clips.


A cardiothoracic surgeon is a specialist medical doctor who performs operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. Dr Lehlohonolo Dongo's Qualifications.


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