After Your Child's Surgery for Pyloric Stenosis

Pyloric stenosis is a narrowing of the lower portion of the stomach (pylorus). This is the part that leads into the small intestine. When this happens, food does not move easily into the intestine. The treatment for pyloric stenosis is called a pyloromyotomy. This surgery loosens muscles that block 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 the incision.

  • 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 5-10 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 usual.

  • 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.

  • 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 healthcare 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 our staff.

When to call the healthcare provider

Call the healthcare provider right away if your baby has any of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°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 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