Gastroschisis is a birth defect of the abdominal wall. The infant’s intestines are outside of the baby's body, exiting through a hole beside the belly button.  Although this is a very serious condition it can be surgically corrected with excellent results.  There are several techniques used to fix this problem and surgeon experience is vital to achieve the best outcome.


Good prenatal care and planning for a high risk delivery are important for these infants.  The bowel must be addressed immediately after delivery to protect the tissue.  Immediate reduction(placement of the bowel into the abdomen) is preferred but it is not always possible.  Sometimes the intestine is swollen and fragile or the abdominal space is not large enough to hole all of the intestine.  In those circumstances the bowel is placed into a silastic tube which fits through the hole in the abdominal wall.  Over a weeks time the bowel is ‘reduced’ into the abdomen.  Once it all fits inside the defect can be closed.


Typically these babies do not have any other significant health problems.  Despite this and the normal appearance of the intestine, these babies do not tolerate feeding for awhile.  Once feeds start it takes weeks to months before they can eat enough to support their needs.  Until that point they are supported with nutrients delivered directly into their bloodstream.

Questions or Appointments, please call:  (407) 228-4774
Pediatric Surgery, P.A., 1220 Sligh Boulevard, Orlando, FL  32806
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