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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

Definition | Reasons for Procedure | Possible Complications | What to Expect | Call Your Doctor


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

Pyloric Sphincter—Pyloroplasty

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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 change 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. It can treat this condition.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare. However, no procedure is completely free of risk. Your child's doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

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

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Current bleeding disorders
  • Prior surgeries in the abdomen
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Heart or lung conditions

What to Expect

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 in a deep sleep.

The anesthesia will be given. Once your child is asleep, an incision will be made in the abdomen. 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 skin will be closed with stitches or staples.

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

The surgery will take about 1-2 hours.

Anesthesia will block pain during the procedure. After the surgery, your child will feel pain. Medication will be given to help manage the pain.

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

A normal diet will be gradually introduced during the hospital stay. Before your child goes home, a nurse will teach you how to take care of her surgical incision . Ask your doctor about when it is safe for your child to shower, bathe, or soak in water.

Be sure to follow the doctor's instructions .

Call Your Doctor

After your child leaves the hospital, contact the doctor if any of the following occurs:

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

In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.


American Gastroenterological Association


Familydoctor.org, American Academy of Family Physicians



Canadian Medical Association Journal



Feldman M. Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2002.

Khatri VP, Asensio JA. Operative Surgery Manual, 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 2003.

Townsend CM. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 17th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders; 2004.

Yamada T. Textbook of Gastroenterology, 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2003.

Last reviewed November 2012 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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