Pyloric Stenosis Repair in Children: What to Expect at Home

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Your Child's Recovery

The pylorus is the part of the stomach that connects to the small intestine. Pyloric stenosis is a condition in which a baby's pylorus gets thick and swollen. This keeps food from moving through the stomach to the intestine.

The surgeon widened the opening through the pylorus so food can pass through. Your child will recover quickly. They probably will not have any long-term problems.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for your child at home?


  • Do not be afraid to hold or handle your child. Your child may need extra closeness in the first few days after surgery.
  • Ask your doctor when your child can return to day care.


  • Give your child frequent small feedings of formula or breast milk. Follow your doctor's instructions.


  • Your doctor will tell you if and when your child can restart any medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about any new medicines.
  • Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. Do not use ibuprofen if your child is less than 6 months old unless the doctor gave you instructions to use it. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Do not give a child two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • If your child is under age 2 or weighs less than 24 pounds, follow your doctor's advice about the amount of medicine to give your child.
  • To avoid an upset stomach, have your child take pain medicine with formula or breast milk.
  • If your child is given antibiotics, be sure your child finishes them all. Your child should not stop taking them just because your child feels better.

Incision care

  • If there are strips of tape closing the incision, leave them on until they fall off.
  • Do not soak the incision under water during the first 2 weeks. Give your child sponge baths.
  • Your child may have some swelling around the surgery site. This is normal and may take several weeks to go away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for any changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child continues to vomit beyond 2 to 3 days after surgery.
  • Your child has fewer wet diapers than normal.
  • Your child has a bloated or swollen belly.
  • Your child will not eat or drink.
  • Your child is not gaining weight.
  • Your child is sleepy, hard to wake up, or very fussy.
  • Your child has pain that does not get better after taking pain medicine.
  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has signs of infection. These include increasing tenderness, red streaks, or pus from the incision.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.