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After Your Child's Surgery for Pyloric Stenosis

Pyloric stenosis is a thickening of the pylorus muscle. This muscle controls the flow of food from the stomach to the small intestine. When the muscle thickens, it narrows the opening between the stomach and the small intestine. Food can't move easily into the small intestine. The treatment for this condition is surgery called pyloromyotomy. It cuts the pylorus muscle that blocks the passage from the stomach into the intestine. Here’s what you need to know about home care for your baby after surgery.

Incision care

  • Keep your baby’s incision clean and dry. Don’t use lotion, powder, oil, or cream on it.

  • You can give your baby sponge baths for  2 days after the surgery. After that, you can give your baby baths. Make sure to keep the incision out of the water.

  • Don’t remove the white sticky strips on your baby’s incision. Let them fall off on their own. If surgical glue was used, it will peel off on its own in 5 to 10 days.

  • Don’t lift your baby under the arms. This will stretch the stitches and may cause pain. Instead, lift your baby by supporting his or her buttocks and head.

Other home care

  • If you breastfeed, you can breastfeed your baby as normal.

  • If you use formula, don’t give your baby more than  3 ounces every  3 hours for the first  3 days. After  3 days, you can slowly increase the amount as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • Don’t worry about limiting your baby’s activity. Most babies can go back to normal activity soon after surgery.

To treat pain:

  • Talk with your child's healthcare provider about what signs to watch for to know if your baby is in pain.

  • Talk with the provider before giving acetaminophen for pain if needed. Ask how much medicine to give your child and how often.

  • Don’t give more than the maximum daily dose in any 24-hour period.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your provider.

When to call the healthcare provider

Call your baby's healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Fever of  100.4°F ( 38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Redness, swelling, or smelly fluid at the incision site

  • Pain that is not helped by medicine

  • Signs of fluid loss (dehydration), such as fewer wet diapers, no tears when crying, or sunken soft spot (fontanel) on your baby’s head

  • Vomiting more than  3 times in a row, or vomiting that lasts more than  48 hours after discharge

  • Your baby's belly appears to be swelling

Online Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2022
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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