Pyloric Stenosis (PS) treatment has come a long way since my surgery for this condition in 1952. In the old days, babies were isolated after the operation, no family visiting. No nice clear plastic surgical tubing brought oxygen and fluids to the baby; the “hoses were black, an inch thick, and so numerous, I could hardly see you,” my mother told me. And my scar was formidable, like a crazy TV antenna, which grew bigger with time.
Today, rocking chairs in neonatal intensive care units, or NICUs, are often made available for family visits. The surgical tubing is light-weight and clear, adhesive strips with cartoon images holding them in place. And the scar? Smaller, given the possibility of having a laparoscopic pyloromyotomy versus an open procedure for which the incision, hence the scar, would be bigger. Even so, the scar from the open method or Ramstedt’s surgery of today is far more cosmetic than an earlier one. Finally, baby is typically released after one or two days as opposed to ten days to two weeks!
As odd as this sounds, I do wonder why babies with PS are still being operated on. Why hasn’t the cause of the problem been determined and a cure found? Why do we keep putting families and their newborns through this terrifying ordeal? Why do I watch two recent youtube videos in which the narrator states that the cause of PS is still unknown? There are still so many questions to be answered, conversations to be had, information to be shared, and personal connections to be made around this subject. I hope this site adds to the conversation in meaningful and helpful ways.
Here’s to the launch and my co-blogger, Fred! Here’s to community! Here’s to continuing our understanding of PS in today’s world, in the past, and in the years to come!