Definition: A herniation of the intestine or other abdominal contents through the umbilical root and which is covered only by a thin membrane rather than skin.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors: An Omphalocele is a relatively frequent abnormality of the newborn that occurs in approximately 1 out of 5,000 births. The intestines can be easily visualized through the thin translucent membrane.

Symptoms: A defect in the abdominal wall at the navel through which the abdominal contents protrude indicates an Omphalocele.

Signs and tests: Physical examination of the infant is usually sufficient for your health care provider to diagnose this condition. Testing is usually not necessary. This often can be found during a prenatal ultra sound examination.

Treatment: An Omphalocele is considered an urgent surgical problem. Some Omphalocele can be closed primarily, while others require multiple procedures over prolonged period of time. Some Omphalocele are treated medically for up to 1-2 years before repair is attempted.

Expectations (prognosis): Complete recovery is expected. Frequently, Omphalocele can be associated with other birth defects, and the prognosis then depends on these conditions.

Complications: intestinal infection, death of the intestinal tissue related to dryness and trauma to the unprotected intestine. Abdominal wall hernias and other complications associated anomalies can occur.

As with any procedure we perform, your child's safety and well-being our #1 priority.  As always, feel free to contact us with any question that you have.  We would be happy to answer it for you.