Omphalocele, or exomphalos, is a trouble a baby is born with. The abdominal organs develop outside the belly. Babies v an omphalocele may likewise have other health and wellness conditions. Omphalocele therapy repairs the opening and also puts the organs earlier in the abdomen. A huge omphalocele might need surgery in several stages


What is an omphalocele?

An omphalocele (uhm-FA-lo-seal), additionally known as exomphalos, is a congenital (present at birth) abnormality in i m sorry the offal of the abdomen stick out v an opening in muscle in the area the the umbilical cord. These organs space covered by a transparent membrane called the peritoneum.

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How large is one omphalocele?

The omphalocele may be small, with just a section of the intestine sticking out of the abdominal muscle cavity, or large, with many of the abdominal organs (including intestine, liver, and also spleen) outside. Healthcare providers describe such situations as huge omphaloceles. Much more than two-thirds the babies v omphalocele have abnormalities of various other organs or body parts, most frequently the spine, cradle system, heart, urinary system, and limbs.

What other complications might babies through an omphalocele have?

Babies born v an omphalocele commonly have various other complications including:

Poor lung developmentIntestines that are slow-moving to take care of foodHeart malformations (20 percent)Beckwith-Wiedeman Syndrome (a problem typified by a large tongue, high insulin and low blood sugar)Chromosomal abnormalities

Infections may construct as well, specifically if the lining extending the body organ breaks. If an body organ becomes pinched or twisted while external the body, its blood circulation can acquire blocked. The lack of blood flow might cause organ damage.

Healthcare carriers usually clues an omphalocele during pregnancy. They’ll discuss the condition with you, including the therapy your infant will need after birth. Ideal after delivery, the care team takes steps to protect and also treat her baby.

When does an omphalocele develop?

An omphalocele establishes in the womb, prior to birth:

By 11 main in the womb: Normally, the intestines go back to the abdomen. If the doesn’t happen, one omphalocele develops.

How typical is an omphalocele?

Approximately 1 in every 4,200 babies in the United states is born with an omphalocele.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the signs of omphalocele?

Providers frequently diagnose one omphalocele throughout a prenatal ultrasound. They have the right to see the organs arising outside the abdominal wall.

What causes an omphalocele?

It is not known what causes an omphalocele, or whether the mother can do anything throughout pregnancy to avoid it. Between the 6th and the 10th weeks of pregnancy, the intestines actually bulge right into the umbilical cord as they space growing. Through the 11th mainly of development, the intestines have to return to the abdomen. Once this fails to happen, one omphalocele occurs.

Who is at hazard for occurring an omphalocele?

Researchers space studying risk components for omphalocele. These components may impact your danger of having actually a baby v an omphalocele:

Consuming alcohol and also tobacco.Taking particular medications, including selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), during pregnancy.Carrying extra weight prior to pregnancy.

Diagnosis and also Tests

How is one omphalocele diagnosed?

An omphalocele is often detected throughout the 2nd and third trimesters the pregnancy utilizing an ultrasound. As soon as discovered, a fetal echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) is frequently ordered to check for love abnormalities prior to the infant is born.

Sometimes an omphalocele isn’t uncovered during pregnancy. If that happens, the trouble will be apparent soon ~ birth. Your care team will certainly take prompt steps to protect your baby’s health.

If provider detected an omphalocele, what tests will baby and I need?

If her provider diagnoses your baby in the womb, you might have an ext tests for the remainder of your pregnancy. This tests may include:

Blood test: Providers inspect your blood for high level of alpha-fetoprotein. A baby’s liver produces this protein, which then passes into the mom blood. High level can present that a baby needs additional evaluation.Ultrasound: regular ultrasounds help your provider check your baby’s growth. The provider can also make certain the cover end the organs continues to be unbroken.MRI: You might need this imaging to examine on your baby’s heart, lungs and other organs.

What tests will baby require after birth for an omphalocele?

After her baby is born, your health care provider will research the omphalocele and also order X-rays. These scans check your baby’s organs, and also other parts of her baby’s body.

Management and Treatment

How is an omphalocele treated?

Treatment because that an omphalocele will depend on numerous things, including

Gestational age of your baby, or the week of pregnancy your baby was born.Likelihood her baby can tolerate medications.Overall wellness of her baby.Severity the the condition.Your preferences.

What wake up after baby is born with an omphalocele?

In the situation of a small omphalocele, an procedure will be done shortly after bear to return the organs come the abdomen and to close up the opening in the abdominal wall surface to prevent infection or any type of tissue damage.

How is a giant omphalocele treated?

For a big omphalocele that entails several organs, the surgical treatment is regularly done in stages, relocating the organs back into the baby's body over a duration of number of days or weeks. In between the surgeries, the care team areas a sterile, security sheet end the organs. The helps prevent infection. Surgeons use this technique for a giant omphalocele because:

It’s safest. The baby’s abdomen is too little and not emerged enough to host all the organs in ~ once. The organs likewise won’t obtain the blood flow they need in a small space. Waiting enables the abdomen come grow.It may give time because that the sac spanning the organs to rotate into continuous skin. Even so, the treatment team may need come stretch the skin that the abdomen come cover the opening. In some cases, her baby could need a skin flap to cover the area. A skin flap is when surgeons move tissue from one component of the body to one more part.

Will baby need a ventilator?

Babies through omphalocele who have actually underdeveloped abdominal cavities frequently have breathing difficulties and may require the help of a ventilator till they can breathe on your own.


Can I protect against an omphalocele?

Researchers room studying possible ways to protect against omphaloceles. That unclear if yes anything a mother can do during pregnancy to stop an omphalocele. In general, living a healthy lifestyle to reduce the opportunities of complications for your pregnancy and newborn. Try to:

Avoid alcohol.Quit smoking.Maintain a healthy weight.

Outlook / Prognosis

What’s the outlook because that a baby v an omphalocele?

The outlook, or prognosis, relies on the size of the omphalocele. It likewise depends on even if it is the baby has other health conditions.

If the omphalocele is the only wellness problem, the infant will most likely make a full recovery. Omphaloceles frequently come with various other birth defects, though. These problems may proceed to affect your baby’s health. Your baby’s health care provider will talk about the prognosis with you.

Living With

How do I provide a baby with an omphalocele?

It’s ideal to have your infant in a hospital through the specialists and also equipment needed to carry out care right away. Her provider will discuss your delivery alternatives with you. A vaginal shipment can damaged the offal that are sticking the end of the belly. Her provider will most likely recommend a cesarean ar (C-section), specifically if the baby has actually a gigantic omphalocele.

If mine baby has a giant omphalocele, deserve to they eat while wait for surgery?

Babies continue to eat and also grow during the months it may take to placed all your organs earlier in.

Will infant eat after ~ surgery?

Once your baby is ready to go home, they’re generally eating normally. If they have other complications, such together heart or lung problems, they may need a feeding tube. Most babies don’t need this help, though.

Are there task restrictions after ~ surgery?

Your baby deserve to do appropriate activities for their age and also developmental stage. If your child had a gigantic omphalocele, the care team in ~ the hospital provides you a protective extending for the wound.

When should I call the healthcare provider?

Call her provider after surgical treatment if girlfriend notice:

Drainage from the wound.Fever.Wound redness.Vomiting, specifically if it’s green (may suggest an intestinal blockage).

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A note from Cleveland Clinic

An omphalocele is a condition your baby is born with. Certain organs sit external the abdomen, or belly, instead of inside. If your baby has actually an omphalocele, they will certainly undergo surgical procedure to move the organs earlier in and also close the opening. Because that a small omphalocele, her baby might only need one surgery. For a giant omphalocele, full repair might take a few months. ~ surgery, plenty of babies live healthy and balanced lives.