Pyloric stenosis is a condition in which the pylorus narrows, which makes it difficult for food to leave the intestines.
This condition can occur in 3 out of every 1000 babies born. It is usually five times more frequent in boys than in girls, especially when one of their parents has already suffered from the same condition.
What is the pylorus?
The stomach is separated from the intestine by a ring of smooth muscle that gives rise to a sphincter known as the pylorus.
This structure is of great importance, as it allows food to be kept inside the stomach until the end of the digestion phase that must be carried out in this organ. After certain chemical stimuli, the pyloric sphincter relaxes and the stomach contents progressively empty into the first part of the small intestine, known as the duodenum.
Pyloric stenosis starts after birth
Children with pyloric stenosis are usually born with a normal sphincter. As the days go by, the muscle that forms the pylorus thickens and starts the blockage process .
Once the baby is born, some problems start to feed him, mainly vomiting, crying, dehydration and weight loss. In younger children there is little tolerance to dehydration, so this condition can lead to more serious complications.
As the days go by, the sphincter becomes inflamed, which further reduces its diameter, producing a greater degree of obstruction and worsening symptoms. For this reason, parents of children with pyloric stenosis do not usually seek medical help until the third or fourth week after birth, which is when symptoms usually appear.
Although there is no clear reason to explain this disorder, there is a relationship between the use of the antibiotic erythromycin, both in the child and the mother during pregnancy, as well as the development of pyloric stenosis.
Pyloric sphincter thickening should be treated with surgery.
This procedure allows rebuilding the sphincter to perform its function , allowing the passage of food from the stomach to the intestine with normality.
In general, surgery is performed at diagnosis is delayed because it can occur a bowel obstruction, which may affect the state child nutrition. Before performing it, it is necessary to stabilize the child and normalize their hydration status, which is done by providing intravenous solutions.