Frequently Asked Questions
A cardio-thoracic surgeon will treat or operate on Patent Ductus Arteriosus. A pediatrician with special interest in cardiology will keep the baby on follow up.
2. What is patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)?
Patent ductus arteriosus is a heart defect present at birth. Ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel present between the aorta and the pulmonary artery during the fetal life. This closes shortly after birth. When it remains open after few days of birth, it is termed as “Patent ductus arteriosus”. Patent simply means open. This defect is more common in premature babies and may close spontaneously in time.
3. What is respiratory distress syndrome?
A chemical called lung surfactant helps to keep the lungs open and avoids them from collapsing. Lack of this chemical produces a condition called Respiratory Distress Syndrome [RDS] where the child is unable to breathe properly. Patent ductus arteriosus and Respiratory distress syndrome are usually associated with each other. Infants or neonates with both these conditions may be considered for immediate intervention.
4. Can PDA be prevented?
There are no clear causes for patent ductus arteriosus. Some environmental causes and genetic factors are associated with the condition. There are no specific preventions for PDA. The best strategy is for early diagnosis by a pediatrician and a close follow up if required.
5. Can women who have undergone PDA correction tolerate pregnancy?
Most women after PDA repair and have led a normal life, should tolerate pregnancy well. Only patients with complications such as Eisenmenger’s syndrome or heart failure should discuss their consideration of pregnancy with their cardiologist. Depending on the severity of their condition, they may be even advised not to conceive.
6. What is Horner’s syndrome?
Horner’s Syndrome or oculosympathetic palsy is a clinical syndrome resulting from damage to the eye’s sympathetic nervous supply. Indifferent to the level of damage, there are signs all patients. The most common signs are Ptosis (drooping of upper eyelid), constriction of the pupil and mild elevation in the lower lid (upside down ptosis). There is no direct treatment for Horner’s syndrome. This syndrome may be acquired due to several reasons like aortic dissection, tuberculosis, carotid dissection and trauma. Treating the cause may get rid of the symptom.