Are pyloric stenosis and gastroesophageal reflux the same?

No, pyloric stenosis means that the stomach cannot empty properly. However, any cause of poor stomach emptying, including the more common entity, gastroparesis, increases the risk of GERD.

Some of the symptoms of pyloric stenosis and gastroesophageal reflux are the same, but the causes are very different. Gastroesophageal reflux can be caused by the position the child is in while feeding, exposure to nicotine or caffeine, an allergy, or digestive tract abnormalities. Pyloric stenosis is caused by an enlarged muscle called the pylorus, which blocks the opening between the stomach and the small intestine. Spitting up or vomiting caused by gastroesophageal symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of pyloric stenosis. Gastroesophageal reflux is usually outgrown without medical intervention, but pyloric stenosis requires surgery.

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