Gastroschisis in Newborn

Gastroschisis in Newborn

Gastroschisis is a type of birth defect that causes a hole in your baby’s abdomen. Gastroschisis happens early in pregnancy when the abdominal wall fails to close.

If your baby is born with this defect, parts of your baby’s stomach, small intestine, and large intestine may be outside the abdomen.

The stomach and intestines are most commonly affected. In some cases, other abdominal organs are also on the outside of the abdomen. The intestines may also become twisted, shortened, or swollen.

The opening in the abdominal wall may be small or large. It usually develops to the right of the belly button (umbilicus).

What are the causes?

It is not known what causes this birth defect.

What increases the risk?

This condition is more likely to occur in a baby whose mother:

  • Is a teenager.
  • Has a family history of this condition.
  • Smoked or drank alcohol during pregnancy.

How is this diagnosed?

This condition may be diagnosed before birth during a routine prenatal imaging test (ultrasound). This condition can also be diagnosed at birth during the first physical exam.

How is this treated?

Treatment for this condition is surgery to place the abdominal contents back into the abdomen. If your baby has a small gastroschisis, only one surgery may be needed. For a large gastroschisis, surgery may be done in stages.

If all of the abdominal contents cannot be placed inside the abdomen during surgery, the silo technique may be performed. A silo is a covering for the stomach and intestines. When a silo is used, a trained practitioner or surgeon will gently insert small parts of the intestine or stomach inside the baby’s abdomen every day for about 5–7 days. This technique allows the abdomen to grow slowly and gently day by day to make room for all of the stomach and intestines.


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