The pylorus is a short muscular tube at the end of the stomach which connects to the duodenum. When the lining of the pylorus is thicker than normal, the passageway to the duodenum is narrower, and as a result, less food gets through to the duodenum. This condition, pyloric stenosis, is most common among firstborn males, between the ages of 3-6 weeks.
Symptoms include excessive vomiting, usually after a meal (food is only partially digested), weight loss, fidgety, dehydration. The only way to treat pyloric stenosis is via a corrective surgical procedure – a pyloromyotomy (also called Ramstedt’s Procedure). It is important to remember that excessive vomiting among babies causes an electrolyte disturbance and in order to operate it needs to be corrected.
Do not feed your baby prior to surgery. A cannula will be inserted to drain out the stomach contents. This will prevent choking. The procedure itself is performed under general anesthesia. A small incision will expose the pylorus and doctors will correct the condition. The incision will then be stitched up and bandaged. The cannula is usually removed a day after surgery (based on the doctor’s recommendation). Your child may exhibit a fever the first day or two following surgery in addition to pain in the surgical area. The doctor will prescribe pain medication. Nurses will help you bathe the baby after the procedure. The bandages will be removed the day after the surgery. The procedure leaves a scar.
For detailed information about corrective surgery for Pyloric Stenosis, CLICK HERE.
Treatment at Home
If the vomiting persists, see your doctor immediately. Though rare, there are cases where pyloric stenosis returns. If the scar is red or swollen, see your doctor immediately. Keep the scar area clean. The stitches will be removed at your local clinic. Make sure your child does not injure the operated area.