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(Pyloric Stenosis Repair; Pyloromyotomy)

Pronounced: py-LOR-oh-plah-stee, py-LOR-ik stuh-NOH-sis, py-LOR-oh-MY-ah-ta-me


The pylorus is the opening between the stomach and the intestines. A pyloroplasty is a surgery to make the pylorus opening wider.

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Reasons for Procedure

The pylorus opens and closes to allow food to pass to the intestines. Certain conditions can make this area thicker. This can make it difficult for food to pass. The condition is called pyloric stenosis. It can cause severe symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.

Pyloroplasty is done to widen the opening.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your child's doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to intestines
  • Hernia formation at the incision site

Before the procedure, talk to your child's doctor about factors that may increase the risk of complications such as:

  • Current bleeding disorders
  • Prior surgeries in the abdomen
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Chronic disease, such as heart or lung conditions

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Make sure your child does not eat or drink anything before the surgery. Follow the specific directions given by your doctor.


General anesthesia will be used. Your child will be asleep.

Description of Procedure

The anesthesia will be given. When your child is asleep, several small incisions will be made in the abdomen. Surgical tools will be inserted through these instruments. A cut will be made in the muscle of the pylorus. The pylorus will then be sewn back together in a wider shape.

The abdominal muscles will be sewn back together. The incisions will be closed with stitches or staples.

This procedure may also be done as an open procedure, which would use a larger incision.

Immediately After Procedure

After the surgery, your child will be monitored for about 1-2 hours.

How Long Will It Take?

The surgery will take about 1-2 hours.

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Your child will be given medication to relieve pain or soreness during recovery.

Average Hospital Stay

The usual length of stay is 1-3 days. The doctor may choose to keep your child longer if there are complications.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

A normal diet will be gradually introduced during the hospital stay. Before your child goes home, you will be taught how to take care of the incision to prevent infection.

Preventing Infection

During your child's stay, the hospital staff will also take steps to reduce the chance of infection such as:

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your child's incisions covered

There are also steps you can take to reduce your child's chance of infection such as:

  • Washing both you and your child's hands often, and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
  • Reminding your child's healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
  • Not allowing others to touch your child's incision

Call Your Child's Doctor

Call your child’s doctor if any of these occur:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Pain that your child cannot control with the medications given
  • Cough or shortness of breath
  • Severe abdominal pain or vomiting blood
  • Dark-colored, tarry stools or blood in the stool

If you think your child has an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


American College of Gastroenterology

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology

Health Canada


Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Accessed January 10, 2018.

Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated February 2017. Accessed January 10, 2018.

Pyloroplasty. Encyclopedia of Surgery website. Available at: Accessed January 10, 2018.

Pyloroplasty. Florida Hospital website. Available at: Accessed January 10, 2018.

Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD  Last Updated: 12/20/2014