Pyloric stenosis (patient information)

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Pyloric stenosis


What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?


When to seek urgent medical care?

Treatment options

Diseases with similar symptoms

Where to find medical care for Pyloric stenosis?

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

Pyloric stenosis On the Web

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

Images of Pyloric stenosis

Videos on Pyloric stenosis

FDA on Pyloric stenosis

CDC on Pyloric stenosis

Pyloric stenosisin the news

Blogs on Pyloric stenosis

Directions to Hospitals Treating Pyloric stenosis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Pyloric stenosis

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Assistant Editor-in-Chief: Meagan E. Doherty


Pyloric stenosis is a narrowing of the pylorus, the opening from the stomach into the small intestine.

What are the symptoms of infantile hypertrophic Pyloric stenosis?

Symptoms generally appear several weeks after birth:

What are the causes of Pyloric stenosis?

Pyloric stenosis is caused by a thickening of the muscles of the pylorus. This thickening prevents the stomach from emptying into the small intestine. The cause of the thickening is unknown, although genetic factors may play a role.

Who is at risk for Pyloric stenosis?

Risk factors include:

  • Gender: Pyloric stenosis occurs more commonly in boys than in girls.
  • Age: Pyloric stenosis is rare in patients older than 6 months. The condition is usually diagnosed by the time a child is 6 months old.

How to know you have Pyloric stenosis (Diagnosis)?

  • The condition is usually diagnosed before the baby is 6 months old.
  • A physical exam may reveal signs of dehydration. The infant may have a swollen belly area. The doctor may detect the abnormal pylorus, which feels like an olive-shaped mass, when touching the stomach area.
  • An ultrasound of the abdomen may be the first imaging test performed. Other tests that may be done include:

When to seek urgent medical care

Call your health care provider if your baby has symptoms of this condition.

Treatment options

Treatment for pyloric stenosis involves surgery (called a pyloromyotomy) to split the overdeveloped muscles. Balloon dilation does not work as well as surgery, but may be considered for infants when the risk of general anesthesia is high. The patient will be given fluids through a vein, usually before surgery.

Diseases with similar symptoms

Where to find medical care for Pyloric stenosis

Directions to Hospitals Treating Pyloric stenosis

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)

Surgery usually provides complete relief of symptoms. The infant can usually tolerate small, frequent feedings several hours after surgery.

Possible Complications

  • Vomiting after surgery -- this is very common and generally improves with time
  • Failure to gain weight in the newborn period
  • Risks associated with any surgery, which include:


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