Pyloric Stenosis

Also known as: infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, gastric outlet stenosis

What is pyloric stenosis?

The pylorus is the narrow opening between the stomach and the first part of the small intestine- the duodenum. It consists of a ring of muscles, the "pyloric sphincter" which serves as a gate or valve that opens periodically to allow digested food from the stomach to enter the small intestine. When this valve is narrowed by thickening of the muscles that make up the pylorus, blocking the passage of food, the condition is known as pyloric stenosis or hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. Pyloric stenosis more frequently occurs in infant boys younger than 6 months of age.


What causes pyloric stenosis?

The cause of pyloric stenosis isn’t entirely clear. It appears to be some combination of genetic factors, and environmental ones (like antibiotic use, or too much acid in the stomach).


What are the symptoms of pyloric stenosis?

Forceful vomiting, which starts anytime after 1week of age through 5 months, is the commonest and earliest symptom in most infants. Other symptoms include constant hunger, dehydration, and failure to gain or weight loss.


What are pyloric stenosis care options?

Surgery to widen the pylorus (pyloromyotomy) is the treatment of choice.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:09:01 PM

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