Pediatric Pyloric Stenosis
Pyloric stenosis is a condition resulting in obstruction of the stomach. The pylorus is a muscle that opens allowing undigested food to exit the stomach and pass into the small intestine.
What is Pediatric Pyloric Stenosis?
In pyloric stenosis, this muscle thickens causing the obstruction. Babies usually develop problems from pyloric stenosis before they are six months old.
When a baby eats but cannot digest the food past the stomach, the baby vomits. Because the baby cannot absorb the food he stays hungry and wants more food. When the baby eats again, the vomiting is repeated. Sometimes it becomes very forceful (projectile vomiting).
What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Pyloric Stenosis?
How is Pediatric Pyloric Stenosis diagnosed?
When suspected, the diagnosis is confirmed by ultrasound.
What are the causes of Pediatric Pyloric Stenosis?
Boys are more likely to have pyloric stenosis than girls, and genetics probably play a role in the disease, but no one knows exactly what causes it.
How is Pediatric Pyloric Stenosis treated?
It is important to repair the pylorus before complications occur, such as severe constipation or even shock. Before surgery, doctors and surgeons treat the baby with medications and fluids to ensure the baby is healthy and ready for the procedure.
Surgeons will usually perform a pyloromyotomy, which is a procedure that widens or divide the pyloric muscle. By dividing the thickened muscle, the pylorus can then reopen allowing food to pass from the stomach into the intestine.
If the baby is not healthy enough to have general anesthesia, surgeons can insert a small balloon attached to an endoscope (a small tube) down the food pipe into the narrowed pylorus, and then inflate the balloon to dilate or widen the opening of the pylorus. The baby can be awake during this procedure.
Both types of procedures are safe and highly effective.