Pyloric stenosis is typically treated with a surgical procedure known as pyloromyotomy (pie-lor-o-my-OT-uh-me). The surgeon cuts through the outside layer of the thickened pylorus muscle, allowing the inner lining to bulge out. This opens a channel for food to pass through to the small intestine.
Results of surgery are generally excellent with few complications.
Surgery is often scheduled on the same day as the diagnosis. If your baby is dehydrated or has an electrolyte imbalance, he or she will receive fluid replacement before surgery.
Pyloromyotomy is often done using minimally invasive surgery. The surgeon operates through a slender viewing instrument (laparoscope) inserted through a small incision near your baby's navel. Recovery from the laparoscopic procedure is quicker than is recovery from a traditional open surgery, and the procedure leaves a smaller scar.
After surgery, your baby may receive IV fluids for a few hours or until he or she can eat. It's common for some vomiting to occur for a few days after surgery.
Potential complications of surgery include bleeding and infection, but the rate of complications is low. Pyloromyotomy doesn't increase the risk of future stomach or intestinal problems.
Most infants return home within 48 hours. Recovery from surgery takes about a week. Your baby may want to feed more often following surgery — this is normal.
Nov. 16, 2012
- Olive AP, et al. Infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index. Accessed Oct. 18, 2012.
- Pyloric stenosis. The American Pediatric Surgical Association. http://www.pediatricsurgerymd.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=List_Of_Conditions1&ContentID=1619&template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm. Accessed Oct. 18, 2012.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. About your baby's surgery for pyloric stenosis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2008.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Oct. 18, 2012.