The pylorus is the short muscular passage between the stomach and the small intestine. Normally it remains closed, allowing the stomach to fill with food; then it opens in rhythm with the stomach contractions, allowing food to pass into the small intestine.
In pylorospasm, the muscle fails to relax and allow food to pass from the stomach. This results in vomiting of undigested food. Pyloric stenosis is a narrowing of the pylorus. This condition also interferes with the passage of food from the stomach, and vomiting is the usual result. Pyloric stenosis may be present since birth (congenital) or may be the result of chronic infection, untreated pylorospasm, or a tumor of the pylorus. Radiographs (x-rays) or exploratory surgery may be required to reach a final diagnosis.
Important Points in Treatment
1. Pylorospasm is treated by dietary control, medication to prevent spasm, and occasionally tranquilizers. Chances for control and possible cure are very good; however, prolonged treatment may be necessary.
2. Pyloric stenosis is treated by surgery to enlarge the pylorus. If the condition is congenital, the chances for cure are excellent. If it is due to other causes, chances for complete cure are fair.