Pyloroplasty is a surgical procedure performed to widen the
opening between the stomach and the small intestine. The opening between the stomach and small intestine is called the pylorus. The pylorus, or pyloric canal, is a short canal primarily made of muscle. The canal can become too narrow, in some conditions. When the canal becomes too narrow, food and liquids may not be able to pass. This can result in symptoms such as nausea and
Who is a candidate for the procedure?
This procedure is performed on a person with symptoms due to
narrowing of the pyloric canal. The canal most commonly gets too narrow from
one of two conditions:
pyloric stenosis, a condition
affects infants for unknown reasons. In this condition, the pylorus muscle gets
too thick. This blocks food from leaving the stomach. Infants with this
condition usually have severe vomiting in the first few months of life.
peptic ulcers. In this
condition, the ulcers cause swelling and scarring of the stomach and the first part
of the small intestine. This in turn may cause blockage in the pyloric
How is the procedure performed?
A pyloroplasty is done under general anesthesia. This means that the person is put to sleep with
medication. A small cut is made in the upper right side of the abdomen, through
some of the muscle layers and down to the pylorus. The surgeon then makes a
cut through the pylorus muscle. The muscle is then sewn back together in such a
way as to widen the opening of the canal. The abdominal muscles are then sewn and put back in place. The skin incision is closed with stitches, clips, or staples.
When pyloroplasty is done because of an ulcer, other procedures may also be
done at the same time. One common example is a vagotomy. This procedure involves cutting the nerve that causes the stomach to make stomach acid. This is done to reduce the risk of future ulcers.