Omphalocele and Gastroschisis

Omphalocele and Gastroschisis are congenital defects or openings of the abdominal wall through which internal organs are exposed.

Omphalocele: It is a defect occurring in the center of the abdomen where the bellybutton is normally located. Not only the skin, but the fibrous tissue, as well as the muscular layer are absent in the area, and the intestines covered by thin membranes bulge out through this opening. The umbilical cord of the newborn arises from the center of this defective area. Ultrasound scans can detect the presence of omphalocele in the fetus. Often, other congenital defects and genetic abnormalities are found to occur in infants who have this condition.

Omphalocele can be surgically corrected after sufficiently stretching the skin in the area around the defect. If the defect is too large, skin flap taken from elsewhere in the body may have to be grafted on to the defective area.

Gastrochisis: It is a defect of the abdominal wall, often occurring to the right of the newborn’s umbilical cord. The intestines usually spill out through this opening and get damaged by contact with the amniotic fluid in the womb. Ultrasound scan during pregnancy can detect gastroschisis in the fetus.

The exposed portions of the intestines may have become damaged by the amniotic fluid in the womb as well as by the pressure at the time of birth. The defect can be surgically corrected after inserting the herniated portions of the intestine back inside the abdominal cavity. If the hernia is very large, a silo is created, and the exposed parts enclosed in a covering is suspended above the infant. Gradual compression of the silo over many days or even weeks helps to push the herniated parts back into the abdominal cavity. The defect is surgically closed afterwards.

Have A look On this Video About Omphalocele and Gastroschisis:

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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