Complications And Prognosis of Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
► Infection and bleeding can occur.
► There is a rare chance of fluid building up around the lungs.
► Hoarseness or left vocal cord injury. (Caused by damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve).
► Paralysis of the diaphragm. (Damage to Phrenic Nerve)
► Horner's syndrome or oculosympathetic palsy or Bernard-Horner syndrome. (Damage to the sympathetic nervous system) .
► False Aneurysms.
Long-term complications are also rare. They can be narrowing of the aorta or partial closure of the ductus arteriosus. When a single clip or ligature is placed in the PDA, recanalization or reopening of the ductus can occur. This occurrence can be as high as 23%. To avoid this complication, usually the PDA is ligated at both ends.
Surgical risk for PDA ligation is less than 1 %. Risk is higher in patients with chronic heart disease and chronic lung disease. Older patients with a fragile PDA are at a higher risk too.
Surgery should not be performed in patients with severe pulmonary hypertension where the flow is usually reversed and patients present with cyanosis. After surgery, there may be temporary pain and feelings of discomfort for a few weeks. Restriction of activity depends on the individual’s recovery. After complete recovery, the child should be able to eat better and gain proper weight. He/She can also participate in normal activities. Regular follow up appointments with the cardiologist is necessary.