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: 3/22/2017 12:39:35 PM

From the Newsdesk

Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Chief of Surgery for Nicklaus Children’s Passes Away
05/24/2018 — The medical staff, employees and volunteers of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital mourn the passing of our esteemed Dr. Sanjiv Bhatia, a longstanding leader and dedicated champion for children with complex medical conditions and their families.
The Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children's Hospital
03/30/2018 — A look into the Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. For more information and to contact a nurse navigator visit nicklauschhildrens.org/FetalCare
 

Video

video
Dr. Peters is employed by Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA), the physician-led group practice of Miami Children’s Health System. He sees patients at the Nicklaus Children's Palm Beach Gardens Outpatient Center and is the PSA Northern Regional Chief, Section of Gastroenterology.