Gastroschisis and Omphalocele

Also known as: abdominal wall defects, ventral body wall defects

What are gastroschisis and omphalocele?

Gastroschisis and omphalocele are both part of a relatively uncommon group of birth defects (abdominal wall defects) that involve an opening or hole in the abdominal wall, frequently on the right side of the belly button.
In most cases of gastroschisis, the hole allows the uncovered intestines and other organs to protrude through the abdomen, which leads to a number of complications. The cause is unknown and babies usually do not have any other birth defect.
With omphaloceles, the abdomen is too small to hold all the abdominal organs and they protrude into the base of the umbilical cord, covered by the omphalocele sac (membrane). Omphaloceles are associated with a number of other congenital malformations & quite frequently have chromosomal abnormalities.
 

What are the signs and symptoms of gastroschisis and omphalocele?

In addition to the obvious abdominal wall defect, babies with gastroschisis and omphalocele frequently have low birth weight, trouble feeding and breathing and underdeveloped organs.
 

What are gastroschisis and omphalocele care options?

Gastroschisis and omphalocele will need to be repaired surgically soon after birth. A baby will need to have fluids and be fed through a needle or catheter in a vein, and other supportive measures will be necessary, until the surgery can take place.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 4/27/2017 2:36:36 PM

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