Gastroschisis

A type of birth defect in which the baby is born with an abdominal hernia right next to the base of the umbilical cord. The baby’s intestines stick out through the hernia.

This condition can be diagnosed before birth, and is repaired through surgery after the baby is born. During surgery, the surgeon will first try to push the intestines back into the baby’s abdomen and stitch the hole closed.

In some cases, however, the abdomen is not yet large enough for the intestines to fit inside, because the organs have developed outside of the body. The surgeon will enclose the intestines in a mesh covering stitched to the sides of the opening, and pull up the sides of the opening. Over time, the hole will become smaller, and the intestines will move back into the abdomen.

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