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Pyloric stenosis occurs when the outlet of the stomach closes down, preventing normal movement of stomach contents into the small bowel. This condition is a common cause of infants vomiting undigested formula or breast milk.
How does hypertrophic pyloric stenosis cause children to vomit?
As a child eats, food travels from his or her mouth down the esophagus and into the stomach. The stomach acts as a reservoir, which slowly releases food into the small intestine.
However, in a child with pyloric stenosis the muscle that controls the flow of food from the stomach into the first part of the small intestine becomes enlarged, narrowing the outlet of the stomach. This narrowing inhibits food from passing into the small intestine and causes the infant to vomit.
If left untreated, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis can cause:
This condition is caused by multiple factors including an infant’s genetics and environment.
Pyloric stenosis is:
Learn about the pediatric surgeons at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Infants who develop pyloric stenosis appear healthy during the first one or two weeks of life.
Between the third and fifth week of life, infants:
Over the next few days:
When you visit Children’s Hospital Colorado, doctors will take a medical history and perform the following tests to determine if your child has hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. They include a:
How do doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado diagnosis an infant with hypertrophic pyloric stenosis?
To make a diagnosis, doctors perform a physical examination and order various tests to determine whether or not an infant has pyloric stenosis.
If your infant is diagnosed with this condition, he or she will likely require a bowel rest (to prevent vomiting the infant won’t eat or drink) and intravenous fluid. The goal is to correct any electrolyte imbalance before surgery.
Pyloric stenosis surgery
Pediatric surgeons use a minimally-invasive technique called laparoscopic pyloromyotomy. The goal of surgery is to open the enlarged muscle that blocks the outlet of the stomach. Minimally-invasive surgery allows your child to heal faster and with less pain.
Most infants are discharged within 24 to 48 hours after surgery.
Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s hypertrophic pyloric stenosis?
Our board-certified pediatric surgeons are trained and experienced in a wide variety of minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures, including laparoscopic pyloromyotomy. Minimally-invasive surgery reduces your infant or child’s healing time, and pain and scars.
Pediatric anesthesiologists keep babies safe
Before and during surgery, our anesthesiologists put children into a sleep-like state that keeps them pain-free. Our anesthesiologists are specially trained to care for kids who have different needs than adults before, during and after anesthesia. Before surgery, parents meet with a pediatric anesthesiologist, who will ease any concerns and answer all of their questions.
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