A patent ductus arteriosus might be found while your baby is in the hospital after birth or it might be discovered later, sometimes because of a heart murmur. If your child's pediatrician suspects a PDA, he or she might refer you to a doctor who specializes in treating children with heart conditions (pediatric cardiologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- Be aware of pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance — such as restrict your child's diet.
- Write down your child's symptoms, including any that might seem unrelated to patent ductus arteriosus or another heart defect.
- Bring copies of past medical records, including reports from previous surgeries or imaging tests.
- List medications, vitamins or supplements that your child takes.
- Write down questions to ask the doctor.
For patent ductus arteriosus, questions to ask include:
- Is the PDA causing problems?
- What tests are necessary?
- Will my child need surgery?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Should my child see a cardiologist specializing in congenital heart defects?
- Is this condition inherited? If I have another child, how likely is he or she to have a PDA?
- Do I need to restrict my child's activities?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions, as well.
What to expect from your doctor
The doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
Dec. 16, 2014
- When did you notice your child's symptoms?
- Have the symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are the symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve the symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to worsen the symptoms?
- What medications has your child taken to treat the condition? What surgeries has your child had?
- What is patent ductus arteriosus? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pda/. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Patent ductus arteriosus. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/patent_ductus_arteriosus_pda.html?qt=patent%20ductus%20arteriosus&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Doyle T, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Doyle T, et al. Management of patent ductus arteriosus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Planning for pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/preconception/planning.html. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 10, 2014.