Abdominal wall defect

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

An infant born with an abdominal wall defect has an abnormal opening on the abdomen. This often causes the intestines and other organs to form outside of the body.

There are two types of abdominal wall defects - omphalocele and gastroschisis.

Diagnosis

These types of openings in the abdomen can usually be detected by AFP screening or a detailed fetal ultrasound. Genetic counseling and further genetic testing, such as amniocentesis, may be offered during the pregnancy as some abdominal wall defects are associated with genetic disorders.

Treatment

If there are no additional genetic problems or birth defects, surgery soon after birth can often repair these birth defects.


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