The ins and outs of pyloromyotomy: what we have learned in 35 years.

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OBJECTIVEThe aim of the study is to evaluate a large series of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS) patients treated by one pediatric surgeon focusing on their diagnostic difficulties and complications.METHODSFrom July 1969 to December 2003 (inclusive), the charts of 791 infants with IHPS were retrospectively reviewed.RESULTSThere were 647 (82%) males and 144 (18%) females; mean age was 38 days, median 51 (range 7 days-10 months). When ultrasonography (US) was routinely used (1990), the age at diagnosis decreased to <40 days. The mean weight before and after routine US was 3.2 kg, median 3 (range 1.5-6). Twenty-five (3.1%) were premature at diagnosis, mean age 49 days, median 56, (range 1-3 months) and mean weight 2.5 kg, median 2.3 (range 1.5-3.2). Eighty-one (10%) had a positive family history. Forty-four (5%) were non-Caucasians. Seventy-five (9 %) had other medical conditions, anomalies and/or associated findings. Sixty (7%) patients had abnormal preoperative electrolytes. Ten (1.2%) pylorics occurred after newborn operations. Of the entire total (791) who were treated, there were 13 (1.7%) not operated on. All operations were done open initially through one of two right upper quadrant incisions, and then through an upper midline incision under general endotracheal anesthesia; 14 (1.7 %) had concomitant procedures. Prophylactic antibiotics (from 1982) decreased the wound infection rate to 3.9%. There were a total of 87 (10%) complications which included 9 (1.1%) intraoperative, (including mistaken diagnoses) 78 (9%) postoperative: 59 (2%) early (<1 month) and 19 (2.4%) late (>1 month). The 13 (1.6%) postoperative transfers (12 from non-pediatric surgeons) had 16 (18%) complications (including 1 death); five (33%) requiring reoperation (4 incomplete, 1 perforation). There were two deaths.CONCLUSIONSIHPS should be considered in any vomiting infant. US allows earlier diagnosis. Serious complications are uncommon and avoidable, but recognizable and easily corrected. Higher surgeon volume of pyloromyotomies (>14 per year) is associated with fewer complications.

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