Children's Hospital Colorado
Digestive Health Institute

Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis

We see more, treat more and heal more kids than any other hospital in the region.

Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News & World Report Gastroenterology 2021-2 Badge

Next Steps

Would you like to learn more about us?
Digestive Health Institute
Do you have questions about your child’s condition?
Call
Want a second opinion?
Get started

What is hypertrophic pyloric stenosis?

Pyloric stenosis occurs when the outlet of the stomach closes down, preventing normal movement of stomach contents into the small bowel. This condition is a common cause of infants vomiting undigested formula or breast milk.

How does hypertrophic pyloric stenosis cause children to vomit?

As a child eats, food travels from his or her mouth down the esophagus and into the stomach. The stomach acts as a reservoir, which slowly releases food into the small intestine.

However, in a child with pyloric stenosis the muscle that controls the flow of food from the stomach into the first part of the small intestine becomes enlarged, narrowing the outlet of the stomach. This narrowing inhibits food from passing into the small intestine and causes the infant to vomit.

If left untreated, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis can cause:

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance 
  • Lethargy

What causes hypertrophic pyloric stenosis?

This condition is caused by multiple factors including an infant's genetics and environment.

Who gets hypertrophic pyloric stenosis?

Pyloric stenosis is:

  • Fairly common, affecting about 1 out of 500 live births
  • Four times more common in males than females 
  • Tends to run in families

Next steps

Cartoon image of a patient and doctor having a telehealth call.

Keeping you safe, wherever you are

We're here when you need us with the same safe, high-quality care we've always offered, even during the pandemic. Now, in many cases, you can get that care without even leaving home because we offer virtual visits across every one of our specialties.

See if telehealth is right for your child

 

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Katie Flynn, CPNP

Katie Flynn, CPNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Rachel Burns, CPNP-PC

Rachel Burns, CPNP-PC

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

AnnaMaria Salas, PA-C

AnnaMaria Salas, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Kenneth Liechty, MD

Kenneth Liechty, MD

Surgery - Pediatric, Surgery