What is pyloric ultrasound?
Pyloric ultrasound is a radiology exam used to diagnose pyloric stenosis in infants. Pyloric stenosis is an uncommon condition that prevents the stomach from emptying food into the small intestine. This can lead to projectile vomiting and other symptoms.
By using a special ultrasound transducer, this test can visualize internal body structures in a completely noninvasive way without exposing the baby to ionizing radiation (X-rays). Ultrasound has no known harmful side effects, and it is a fast, noninvasive method for doctors to evaluate soft tissues that don’t show up on regular X-ray exams. This technique is especially useful to visualize the appearance, size, consistency, and shape of internal organs and abnormalities.
The ultrasound transducer sends out small pulses of high-frequency sound waves. When pressed against the skin, the transducer transmits the sound waves, that bounce off structures in the body. The transducer picks up the rebounding sound waves, and, with the help of a computer, the characteristics of a structure can be determined.
The pylorus is a muscular valve between the stomach and small intestine. Normally, the pylorus relaxes to let food empty from the stomach into the small intestine. With pyloric stenosis, the muscle is thickened and does not function properly. This condition typically occurs in infants 3 to 5 weeks old. Pyloric stenosis is usually corrected by surgery.
Symptoms of pyloric stenosis include:
If your baby has symptoms that indicate possible pyloric stenosis, your pediatrician may recommend a pyloric ultrasound to help confirm the diagnosis.
To schedule a pyloric ultrasound, please speak to your health care provider and call our scheduling team at (512) 453-6100 or toll free at (800) 998-8214. A referral from your health care provider is required to make an appointment.
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to interpret radiological examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to the provider who referred you to ARA. Your health care provider will then share the results with you. Your report will also be available on the patient portal within 15 days.
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