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Pyloric Stenosis Repair in Children: What to Expect at Home

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 area so food can pass through. Your child will recover quickly and 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 daycare.


  • 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 his or her medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about your child taking any new medicines.
  • Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 18. 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 11 kilograms, 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 he or she finishes them all. Your child should not stop taking them just because he or she feels better.

Incision care

  • If there are tapes (Steri-strips) directly on the incision, leave them on for a week, or until they loosen and come off on their own.
  • 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 or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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 or nurse advice line 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 he or she takes pain medicine.
  • Your child has a fever of 38°C or higher.
  • Your child has signs of infection, such as increasing tenderness, red streaks, or pus from the incision.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.