We have changed our visitation policy for the safety of our patients and staff. Click here for the updated visitation policy and click here for information about COVID-19.

Lahey Health is now part of Beth Israel Lahey Health

by Woods M
(Pyloric Obstruction)


Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) is a blockage of the path from the stomach to the small intestines. It may completely block of the path or allow a small amount to pass. The blockage can cause pain and stop food from being digested.

si55551180 97870 1 digestive tract
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


The blockage is caused by problems of nearby tissue such as:

  • Swelling from peptic ulcer (most common cause)
  • Swelling from nearby pancreas
  • Abnormal growth of tissue such as:
    • Scar tissue due to a peptic ulcer
    • A cancer growth

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of gastric outlet obstruction include having:


Symptoms may include:

  • Regular, frequent feeling of bloating or fullness
  • Feeling full after eating less food
  • Nausea and vomiting of undigested food, especially right after eating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling


You will be asked about your symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.

Images may be needed to look for blockages. This can be done with:

  • X-rays of the abdomen with special dye such as barium
  • Endoscopy—scope that shows the interior of the stomach and intestines

A test will also be done to test the movement of food through your stomach.


The goal of treatment is to open the pathway. The exact steps will depend on the cause. Options include:

  • Medicine to help stop swelling.
  • Procedures to remove scar tissue or tumors.


A hospital stay may be needed for a severe blockage. Support may include:

A hospital stay may be needed for a severe blockage. Support may include:

  • IV fluids—for hydration and electrolytes
  • Removal of trapped solids, liquids, or gasses from the stomach—a tube is passed through the nose to the stomach


If you have peptic ulcer disease, follow your care plan.


American Gastroenterological Association  http://www.gastro.org 

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians  http://familydoctor.org 


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology  https://www.cag-acg.org 

Health Canada  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca 


Gastric outlet obstruction. Radiopaedia.org website. Available at: http://radiopaedia.org/articles/gastric-outlet-obstruction. Accessed December 12, 2018.

Kalyanakrishnan R, et al. Peptic Ulcer Disease. Am Fam Physician. 2007 Oct 1;76(7):1005-1012. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/1001/p1005.html. Accessed December 12, 2018.

Peptic Ulcer Disease. Merck Manual for Professionals. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/gastritis-and-peptic-ulcer-disease/peptic-ulcer-disease. Accessed December 12, 2018.

Stomach Ulcer-Complications. NHS Choices website. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Peptic-ulcer/Pages/Complications.aspx. Updated May 21, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2018.

Revision Information