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PDA Device Closure

Babies are born with a natural opening in the heart between the aorta and pulmonary artery called the ductus arteriosus. Under normal circumstances, this opening closes naturally. However, in some babies, it remains open. This is called a patent (open) ductus arteriosus (PDA).

A PDA causes oxygen-rich blood to return to the lungs instead of going to the rest of the body. This means that blood vessels in the lungs have to handle more blood than normal, which causes the heart and lungs to overwork and makes breathing more difficult. A PDA can also cause problems with feeding, weight gain, and blood circulation.

A transcatheter PDA device closure is a non-surgical procedure to close the ductus arteriosus. Doctors use cardiac catheterization to place a small device in the vessel, which closes the PDA.

A transcatheter PDA device closure is usually preferable to open-heart surgery for many babies because it presents less risk and a shorter recovery time.

Why choose Presbyterian for your PDA device closure?

Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care has the only pediatric and congenital cardiothoracic surgery team in New Mexico. Their team uses some of the most advanced techniques to perform this procedure. These techniques can improve recovery time, reduce complications and provide a quicker return to daily activities.

Who is eligible for a PDA device closure?

Babies who have a PDA causing oxygen-rich blood to return to the lungs can have this procedure. This opening can be discovered by:

  • Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray may show an enlarged heart and lung changes in a baby with PDA.

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): An EKG checks the electrical activity of the heart.

  • Echocardiogram: An echo uses sound waves to make a moving picture of the heart and heart valves.

  • Cardiac catheterization: Typically, a catheterization is done to possibly treat a PDA, not to diagnose it.

What conditions can be treated with a PDA device closure?

The size of the opening between the aorta and the pulmonary artery will affect symptoms. If your baby has a small opening, he or she may not have symptoms. If your baby has a larger opening, he or she may have these symptoms:

  • Tiredness.

  • Infections.

  • Poor weight gain.

  • Fast or hard breathing.

  • Trouble doing activities.

  • Trouble feeding or tiredness while feeding.

  • The skin turns a blue color from not getting enough oxygen (cyanosis).

How do I prepare for a PDA device closure?

Ask your doctor which medications your child should or should not take leading up to and on the day of the procedure.

Your child may stay in the hospital for a few days.

What should I expect during my PDA device closure?

Your doctor will insert a catheter into the femoral vein in the baby’s groin. Using X-ray imaging, they will guide the catheter to the heart and locate the PDA.

They will carefully insert a device through the catheter and into the baby’s PDA. Once in place, this device will block the hole and stop blood from flowing into the lungs.

Your doctor will gently remove the catheter and cover the access point at the groin with a small bandage.

The PDA device remains permanently implanted in the heart. Over time, the body’s natural healing process will cover the device with tissue. Your baby’s heart will continue to grow with the device.

The transcatheter PDA closure procedure takes around 45 minutes.

After the procedure, your baby will be monitored closely for the next 1-2 days.

How do I care for myself after my PDA device closure?

After discharge from the hospital, your child may be given pain medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to keep comfortable. Your child's cardiac team will talk to you about pain control before you go home.

The long-term prognosis for a patient who had PDA device closure is excellent. The vast majority of patients have no significant long-term problems.

It may be necessary to take antibiotics before any dental or surgical procedures for at least six months following the procedure. This is to minimize the risk of bacterial infection.

Infants who fed poorly before surgery begin to eat better and gain weight faster. Within a few weeks after surgery, older children are often fully recovered and able to do normal activities.