Introduction to Pyloric Stenosis
Pyloric stenosis is when the passage between the stomach and small bowel becomes narrower due to the muscle lining this passage becoming thicker.
What is Pyloric Stenosis?
Pyloric stenosis is when the passage between the stomach and small bowel becomes narrower due to the muscle lining this passage becoming thicker. The thickening stops food and milk being passed on to the small bowel to be digested and absorbed. This condition is more common in babies around 6 weeks and in boys rather than girls.
What are the causes for Pyloric Stenosis?
There is no known cause of pyloric stenosis but it affects boys more than girls and has some genetic component as it often runs in families.
What are the symptoms of Pyloric Stenosis?
The prevention of food being passed to the small bowel from the stomach causes babies to bring up small amounts of milk after feeding. This gradually gets worse until the baby cannot keep any milk down. Since little food is digested, the baby will also poo less. The baby will also appear dehydrated since they are not absorbing any food.
How is Pyloric Stenosis treated?
It is treated by a pyloromyotomy under general anaesthetic lasting about 30 mins. It is usually carried out by keyhole surgery (laparoscopically) but occasionally open surgery is required instead. Some of the thickened muscle is cut away so that food can pass through to the small bowel. The effects of dehydration can be severe for the child and so the operation is the only option and needs to occur quickly.