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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Pyloroplasty
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System


Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

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 vomiting.

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 that 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 canal.
  • 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.


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    Pyloroplasty: Preparation & Expectations

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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