Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) Specialist


Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon located in Alexandria, LA

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a common congenital heart defect — around 3,000 babies are born with the condition every year. You can lead a long, healthy life with a PDA, although an expert cardiologist should monitor your health. At Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute, in Alexandria, Louisiana, Gary P. Jones, MD, FACS, monitors PDA and offers personalized treatments such as PDA ligation when necessary to protect your health. Call Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute or make an appointment online today if you have PDA and need expert treatment.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

What is patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)?

PDA is a congenital heart defect that creates an abnormal connection between the aorta and the pulmonary artery. In most cases, a PDA is a persistent opening between these two blood vessels that can allow poorly oxygenated blood to flow in the wrong direction.

When your heart is deprived of oxygen, the muscles weaken, and your risk of heart failure and other potentially life-threatening cardiac health problems increases. 

What are the signs of PDA?

In some cases, a pediatrician diagnoses a PDA soon after a baby is born. However, if a PDA is small, it might not cause any noticeable symptoms and go diagnosed for many years, only causing symptoms later as your heart grows. 

Some of the signs of a PDA in children include:

  • Poor appetite or eating
  • Slow physical growth
  • Sweating while crying or eating
  • Persistent breathlessness or rapid breathing
  • Easy fatigue
  • Rapid heart rate

Adults might develop shortness of breath and heart palpitations if they have an undiagnosed PDA. 

What causes PDA?

The causes of PDA aren’t fully understood. The condition is more common in premature babies who didn’t have enough gestational time for their heart to develop fully. Other risk factors for a PDA include a family history of the PDA and other genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome. 

How is PDA diagnosed?

If you or your child have signs of a PDA or other cardiac health issues, Dr. Jones provides a thorough exam and diagnostic testing to identify the condition causing your symptoms. In addition to a physical exam and blood test, he might also order:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiograms
  • Electrocardiograms
  • Cardiac catheterization 

These tests provide valuable information about your heart structure and function that allow Dr. Jones to confirm your diagnosis and identify the best way to treat your PDA.

How is PDA treated?

Depending on your condition, Dr. Jones might recommend waiting and watching your condition or prescribing medication to reduce swelling or help close your PDA. When necessary, he also offers surgical procedures to close the PDA, including ligation. 

Dr. Jones offers both minimally invasive catheter procedures as well as traditional surgeries to repair PDA. He discusses your treatment options and answers your questions so you can make an informed decision about your health care. 

You need to have routine cardiovascular follow-up appointments so Dr. Jones can monitor your health. Even after treatment, a PDA can increase your risk of cardiovascular complications. 

Call Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute or make an appointment online today for expert treatment for PDA and other cardiovascular health problems.