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What is pyloric stenosis?
Pyloric stenosis is a medical condition. It is a narrowing of the opening between the stomach and the small intestine. That space is called the pylorus. It often occurs in babies younger than 6 months. It is more common in boys than girls.
Symptoms of pyloric stenosis
Vomiting is the primary symptom. It usually starts around 3 weeks of age. Projective vomiting is common. The vomiting occurs after each feeding or some feedings. The baby is still hungry after vomiting. Other symptoms can include:
- Stomach pain.
- Constant hunger.
- Poor weight gain, weight loss.
- Wave-like motion of the stomach after feeding or right before vomiting starts.
What causes pyloric stenosis?
The condition is caused by a thickening of muscles around the pylorus. This prevents the stomach from passing on its contents to the small intestine.
An exact reason some babies have pylorus stenosis is unclear. It could be hereditary. Parents who had the condition can pass it on. Rick factor can increase a baby’s chance of having it. These include certain antibiotics, too much acid in the top part of the small intestine, and certain diseases, such as diabetes.
How is pyloric stenosis diagnosed?
If your baby is vomiting a lot, contact their healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may diagnose it with a physical exam, imaging test, and blood test. Physical signs include dehydration (dry skin and mouth, few tears when crying, and dry diapers). Other physical signs include a swollen stomach. A blood test can detect dehydration.
Can pyloric stenosis be prevented or avoided?
Pyloric stenosis cannot be prevented or avoided.
Pyloric stenosis treatment
Treatment requires surgery. The surgery is designed to widen the pylorus. It is called pyloromyotomy. In most cases, surgeon will give the baby anesthesia to sleep during the surgery.
Living with pyloric stenosis
The condition is generally caught early. So there are usually no long-term problems to live with.