Because of the proposal that infants with hypertrophic pyloric stenosis should only be treated by surgeons with an interest in paediatric surgery, we carried out a retrospective study to audit our experience in a district general hospital. Forty six infants over a five year period underwent pyloromyotomy. There were no deaths, and 36 infants (78%) made uneventful recoveries. Perforation of the duodenal mucosa occurred during the operation in 11 patients, and eight complications developed in six of these infants. There were seven wound infections, and two patients had vomiting that lasted four days or longer after their operations. There were no long term feeding problems. The results of this study show that such patients can be successfully treated in district general hospitals, and three areas merit special attention: meticulous surgical technique, the use of prophylactic antibiotics, and early graduated feeding.
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