Pyloric stenosis (1066)

Key points below

What is pyloric stenosis?

Pylorus is the name of the muscle between the stomach and the small intestine. Stenosis means that an opening is smaller than it should be.What is pyloric stenosis

Pyloric stenosis means that the muscle between the stomach and the intestine is too thick. The thick muscle stops food from going into the intestine as it should.

Pyloric stenosis almost always happens in the first few months of life. Most patients are around 4 to 6 weeks old.

What are the symptoms?

Pyloric stenosis makes your baby throw up (vomit). At first, your baby may only throw up once in a while. As time goes by, your baby will throw up more often and in larger amounts. With time, all feedings may be thrown up. The vomit may be forceful enough to shoot across the room. This is called projectile vomiting. If your baby throws up a lot, it can cause:

What tests may be done?

How is it treated?

Most pediatric surgeons now do this surgery using small incisions (cuts less than 5mm) and a camera called a laparoscope. The thickened muscle is cut, but not taken out. This will let food move freely into the intestine. Your baby will have one or more incisions depending on how the surgery was done. The doctor will tell you what to expect. Using a laparoscope makes the scars mostly invisible once healed.

How will my baby be prepared for surgery?

What happens after surgery?

What will I need to do at home?


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child:

  • Has signs of infection like redness, warmth, drainage at the incision, or a fever over 101.5F (38.5C).
  • Is vomiting more than three times a day.
  • Has signs of dehydration, like dry lips and mouth, sunken eyes, no tears when they cry.
  • Has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.