Gastroschisis is a birth defect that creates a gap in the muscles and skin of the abdominal wall. Intestines can push through the gap to the outside of the body. A gastroschisis tends to occur to the right of the belly button.
A gastroschisis may be small and only involve a section of intestines or be large and involve other abdominal organs. It may also be associated with intestinal atresia.
|Normal Anatomy of the Abdominal Organs|
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Gastroschisis may be suspected after blood tests in the mother. A fetal ultrasound will show if there are intestines outside of the abdominal wall. Early diagnosis will help make birth and treatment plans. Gastroschisis not diagnosed before birth will be apparent as soon as the child is born.
Additional imaging tests may be done to help plan treatment.
Talk with the doctor about the best treatment plan for your baby. Treatment may include one or more of the following:
The intestines are often damaged. Your baby may have difficulty with digestion and need supportive care. Medications may include:
- Dextrose and electrolyte solutions for nutrition and hydration
- Antibiotics if an infection is present or possible
The goal of surgery is to put the intestine and other organs back in place, and close damaged wall. The type of surgery will depend on the extent of the gastroschisis.
Large defects may require several surgeries over a long period of time.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
March of Dimes http://www.marchofdimes.org
March of Dimes Canada http://www.marchofdimes.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Birth defects: diagnosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/diagnosis.html. Updated October 20, 2014. Accessed June 6, 2016.
Facts about gastroschisis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/gastroschisis.html. Updated November 12, 2015. Accessed June 6, 2016.
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Gamba P, Midrio P. Abdominal wall defects: prenatal diagnosis, newborn management, and long-term outcomes. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2014 Oct;23(5):283-90..
Skarsgard ED. Management of gastroschisis. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2016 Jun;28(3):363-369.