What is pyloric stenosis?
Pyloric stenosis is present when the muscle connecting the stomach to the intestine grows too large and thick. This muscle is called the pyloric muscle. As this muscle gets thicker, it keeps food from being able to pass from the stomach into the intestine.
Who gets pyloric stenosis?
Infants between 1-2 months of age. It occurs more frequently in boys than in girls.
What are the symptoms?
Babies with pyloric stenosis begin to spit up after most feedings. No amount of burping or change of formula makes it better. As the pyloric muscle becomes thicker, the vomiting becomes more forceful and frequent and the baby can’t keep any food down. If left untreated weight loss and dehydration develop.
How is the decision made that surgery is needed?
This decision is based upon history, physical exam, and ultrasound results.
What can I expect from surgery?
General anesthesia is used to put your baby to sleep during surgery. A cut is made into the pyloric muscle to relax it and allow food to easily pass from the stomach into the intestine.
When will my child be able to go home?
Your baby will be able to go home when able to take oral feedings. It is not uncommon for babies to continue to have occasional episodes of vomiting after feedings.
What care is needed at home after surgery?
- Care of the incision: Keep the incision clean and dry.
- Activity limitations: There are no activity restrictions.
- Diet: Your baby may resume a regular feeding schedule. Some babies may need to be limited to 2-3 ounces every 2-3 hours for a few days if they spit up with larger amounts.
- Bathing: You may sponge bathe your baby at home.
- Medication: Your baby may need over the counter acetaminophen (Tylenol) for a few days for mild incisional pain. Follow the directions your surgeon gives you.
When should I call the surgery team?
You should call the surgery team if your child has any of the following:
- Temperature over 100.4F
- Persistent vomiting
- Decrease in urine or stool output
- Increased fussiness not relieved by feeding or pain medication
- The incision begins to drain fluid, or looks more red or swollen
What are the long term consequences? Will this affect growth and development?
Infants who have had the operation are usually fine after surgery. They eat well, gain weight and develop normally.
Follow up with surgery team:
A follow up appointment should be scheduled for 2-3 weeks after surgery. Please refer to your discharge instructions for the phone number to call to make an appointment.