WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Pyloric stenosis is also called infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. It is caused when a muscle between the stomach and duodenum grows too large and thick. The duodenum is the part of the small intestines (bowel) that connects to the stomach. As this muscle grows, it begins to block food from being pushed from the stomach into the duodenum. In time, the muscle can grow so thick and tight that it blocks all food from going to the duodenum. Pyloric stenosis usually happens in babies who are 1 to 10 weeks old. It may happen in older babies too, but not as often.
- A common symptom of pyloric stenosis is vomiting (spitting up) after feedings and dehydration. Vomiting may become projectile (forceful burst) as the pyloric stenosis gets worse. Vomiting usually happens 30 minutes to 1 hour after a feeding. Dehydration happens when your baby vomits and loses too much fluid and electrolytes or "salts". This is a dangerous condition for your baby. When a baby is dehydrated, the heart and blood system cannot work normally. Most babies have surgery called a pyloromyotomy to fix the pyloric stenosis.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Keep a written list of the medicines your baby takes, the amounts, and when and why your baby takes them. Bring the list of your baby's medicines or the pill bottles when you visit your baby's caregivers. Ask your baby's caregiver for more information about the medicines. Do not give any medicines to your baby before asking your baby's caregiver. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs, or food supplements.
- Always give your baby's medicine as directed by caregivers. Call your baby's caregiver if you think your baby's medicines are not helping. Call your baby's caregiver if you feel your baby is having side effects. Do not quit giving the medicines to your baby until you ask your baby's caregiver. If your baby is taking antibiotics, give them until they are all gone. Even if your baby seems to feel better.
- Do not give aspirin to your baby without first asking your baby's caregiver. Giving aspirin to your baby when he is ill may cause a very serious illness called Reye's syndrome. Read medicine labels to see if your baby's medicine has aspirin in it.
When is my baby's next medical appointment?
Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.
How active can my baby be when he goes home?
Babies usually get better quickly after surgery. Resting helps your baby's body heal itself. Encourage your baby to rest as much as needed. Do not allow your baby to cry hard for long periods of time.
When can I give my baby a bath?
Keep your baby's belly area dry for at least 2 days. Then you may put your baby in a tub bath. Steristrips (thin strips of tape) are small pieces of tape over an incision (surgical wound). Carefully wash your baby's belly area with soap and water, then pat it dry with a towel. The steristrips will peel off by themselves in 7 to 10 days. As the steristrips start to peel off, let them fall off by themselves. Do not pull them off.
What about crowds of people?
Keep your baby away from people who have colds, flu, or other illnesses that are easily spread. Also try to keep your baby away from large groups of people while he is recovering from surgery. This decreases your baby's chance of getting sick or getting an infection.
What can I feed my baby?
Unless your baby's caregiver gives you special instructions, your baby may eat a regular diet. Give your baby breast milk or a formula that your baby's caregiver tells you to use. Ask your baby's caregiver how much breast milk or formula your baby should drink each day.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your baby vomits more than 2 times in 1 day or vomits more than 2 days in a row.
- Your baby has pus or bad-smelling fluid coming from his incision (cut). This may mean your baby has an infection.
- Your baby starts having the same symptoms of pyloric stenosis that he did before surgery.
- Your baby's pain does not seem to be helped by his pain medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about pyloric stenosis, your baby's surgery, or his care.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.