What is Pyloroplasty?

A pyloroplasty is a procedure in which the valve at the lower portion of the stomach, the pylorus valve, is cut in order to widen the pyloric sphincter into the duodenum (the muscular opening that empties into the small intestine). A dog may require a pyloroplasty if he or she has been diagnosed with a condition known as gastric outflow obstruction. Affected by this condition, the dog will not be able to sufficiently pass food from the stomach into the small intestine due to a block in the stomach’s sphincter. If all therapeutic options fail, your veterinarian may recommend the dog’s stomach sphincter to be widened, also known as a pyloroplasty. 

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Pyloroplasty Procedure in Dogs

A pyloroplasty is a procedure in which the valve at the lower portion of the stomach, the pylorus valve, is cut in order to widen the pyloric sphincter into the duodenum (the muscular opening that empties into the small intestine). The veterinarian has a number of surgical techniques he or she could use to perform a pyloroplasty, including Fredet-Ramstedt, Heineke-Mikulicz pyloroplasty, pyloromyotomy, or the preferred Y-U pyloroplasty.

  1. The veterinarian will begin by making a full thickness incision over the pylorus with a number 15 scalpel blade. The doctor may continue the incision with baby Metzenbaum scissors to reach a full 1-2 cm length. 
  2. Stay sutures of 3-0 to 4-0 microfilament will be placed at the end of the incision. 
  3. The Y of the Y-U pyloroplasty technique will be created to open up the stomach sphincter. A stay suture will be placed in the stomach to prevent stomach acid from spilling out of the opening. A suction may also be required to prevent these fluids from corroding the exposed tissues. 
  4. The Y-U is closed with a simple interrupted suture pattern on the pylorus. The surgeon will ensure these sutures are watertight to ensure the stomach acids do not leak after complete closure of the abdomen. 
  5. Once the stays in the stomach are released and the newly created sphincter is closed, the vet will close the dog’s abdomen. 

Efficacy of Pyloroplasty in Dogs

A pyloroplasty procedure is an effective way of surgically correcting a gastric overflow obstruction. Like all forms of surgery, canine pyloroplasty has its risks and should only be considered when medical management practices have proved ineffective. 

Pyloroplasty Recovery in Dogs

After a pyloroplasty surgical procedure, your dog will not be able to eat for 12 to 24 hours. For approximately 14 days after surgery, only soft, easily digestible meals will be allowed in small portions. As pyloroplasty is a surgical procedure, physical activities will be limited and an Elizabethan collar will need to be worn to prevent the dog from manipulating the incision site. Pain medications and antibiotics will be prescribed during the dog’s time of recovery, but may not be required after your follow-up appointment in four to six weeks. 

Cost of Pyloroplasty in Dogs

A canine pyloroplasty procedure can cost a dog owner $600 to $900. The cost will depend greatly on the veterinary practice and the canine’s condition. 

Dog Pyloroplasty Considerations

A pyloroplasty procedure is an effective treatment option for dogs with partial gastric outflow obstruction. However, if the procedure is performed incorrectly they are difficult to fix, so selecting an experienced, licensed veterinary surgeon is essential. Dog owners should also be aware of therapeutic costs after a pyloroplasty surgery is performed. Side effects from opening the lumen may cause discomfort to the patient that require temporary or lifelong medical management.  

Pyloroplasty Prevention in Dogs

The need for a pyloroplasty cannot always be prevented, as some dogs are simply born with a defective digestive system. However, allowing your dog to overeat or giving your dog people food could cause complications such as a gastric outflow obstruction. Additionally, long term use of pain medications that pose a high risk for stomach ulceration can also cause obstructive stomach ulcers.