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Pyloric Stenosis

more about Pyloric Stenosis


  • Pyloric stenosis is caused by an enlargement of the muscles that close the tube (sphincter) responsible for emptying the stomach.
  • Babies with pyloric stenosis appear normal at birth, but develop symptoms 6 to 8 weeks afterwards.
  • Pyloric stenosis is more common in first-born male infants, but it can occur in both males and females.  It is also more common in babies who receive oral erythromycin, an antibiotic, during the first few months of life.  The exact cause of the muscular enlargement is not known.

  • "Projectile" vomiting
    1. Forceful vomiting of large volumes, unlike "spitting up," which dribbles out from the mouth in small amounts
    2. Vomiting occurs a short time after feeding.
  • Babies appear very hungry and start to feed very quickly, but then push the bottle away
  • With prolonged vomiting, Dehydration can occur, leading to decreased urination, lack of tears, and a dry mouth.

  • Examination of the abdomen
  • If diagnosis is uncertain, ultrasound or X-ray studies are performed.
  • Blood studies sometimes show changes in electrolyte (mineral) levels.

  • Surgery is required to enlarge the opening between the stomach and the intestines.
  • Most infants go home from the hospital in 1 or 2 days.

  • If left untreated, frequent vomiting can lead to Dehydration and electrolyte changes in the blood.

  • Most cases are thought to be congenital, so prevention is not possible.  However, because of the association with erythromycin use, most pediatricians will use this medicine in infants under 2 months of age only when absolutely necessary.





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