Q: My baby spits up after every feeding. Could it be pyloric stenosis?

A: Most babies spit up to some degree and usually it does not mean anything bad.  However, unmistakable projectile vomiting is the main symptom of pyloric stenosis, which is a thickening of the muscle located at between the stomach and small intestines. Babies with pyloric stenosis usually start throwing up after most feedings within the first few months of birth, and it usually gets progressively worse over a few days. Other symptoms include making very few or very small poops (since no food is being digested), failing to gain weight, and looking sluggish and lethargic. The condition is very serious, so if your child has any of these symptoms, it's important to see your doctor right away. Once at the doctor's office, pyloric stenosis is easy to diagnose with an ultrasound, and it's treated with a simple laparoscopic procedure called a pyloromyotomy. Most babies recover in no time at all; feeding normally within three to four hours (although some may still experience minor vomiting for a few days as the stomach heals). The condition affects about three in every 1,000 babies, and although the cause is still something of a mystery, doctors believe it may be genetic.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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December 1, 2018
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