Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you or your child has a congenital heart defect, or has had surgery to correct one, you may have some concerns about aftercare. Here are some issues you may be thinking about:

  • Preventing infection. For most people with a patent ductus arteriosus, regularly brushing and flossing teeth in combination with getting regular dental checkups is the best way to help prevent infection. In most cases, you or your child won't need to take preventive antibiotics before certain dental and surgical procedures. Ask your doctor if he or she thinks preventive antibiotics are necessary for you or your child.
  • Exercising and play. Parents of children with congenital heart defects often worry about the risks of rough play and vigorous activity even after successful treatment. Although some children may need to limit the amount or type of exercise, most people with patent ductus arteriosus will lead normal lives. Your doctor can advise you about which activities are safe for your child.
Dec. 22, 2011