Definition

What is abdominal wall defect?

Abdominal wall defects are a type of congenital defect that allows the stomach, the intestines, or other organs to protrude through an unusual opening that forms on the abdomen.

During the development of the fetus, many unexpected changes occur inside the womb. Specifically the stomach, intestines, or other organs begin to develop outside the fetus’ abdomen through the abnormal hole in the abdomen and, as development progresses, the abdominal wall eventually encloses these organs. In some cases of defect either the umbilical opening is too oversized or has developed improperly which allows the organs to remain outside or to squeeze through the abdominal wall.

There are two main types of abdominal wall defects that result due to the changes during development. They are omphalocele and gastroschisis. Gastroschisis develops when the abdominal wall does not completely close, and the organs are present outside of the infant’s body. Omphalocele occurs when some of the organs protrude through the muscles of the abdomen in the area surrounding the umbilical cord. Omphalocele can be either minor, with only some of the organs exposed, or severe, with most, if not all of the abdominal organs being exposed

How common is abdominal wall defect?

Abdominal wall defects are uncommon. Omphalocele affects an estimated 2 to 2.5 in 10,000 newborns. Approximately 2 to 6 in 10,000 newborns are affected by gastroschisis, although researchers have observed that this malformation is becoming more common. abdominal wall defects are more common among pregnancies that do not survive to term (miscarriages and stillbirths).

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of abdominal wall defect?

Any symptoms the mother may have had to indicate that the defects are present in the fetus are nondescript.

When should I see my doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent another medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes abdominal wall defect?

There are many causes for birth defects that still remain unclear. As of 2004, the causes of abdominal wall defects remained unknown.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for abdominal wall defect?

You may have higher risks for this condition if you are experiencing these following conditions:

  • Not having a proper diet
  • Lack of supplemental vitamins, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle
  • Excessive exposure of tobacco

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is abdominal wall defect diagnosed?

At birth, the problem is obvious, because the base of the umbilical cord at the navel will bulge or, in worse cases, contain internal organs. Before birth, an ultrasound examination may detect the problem.

It is always necessary in children with abdominal wall defects to look for other birth defects, because multiple anomalies are more likely to occur in these children.

How is abdominal wall defect treated?

Abdominal wall defects can be treated surgically if there is no accompanying anomalies. The surgical procedure also called omphalocele repair/closure or gastroschisis repair/closure is not overcomplicated. The organs are normal but are misplaced.

However, if the abdominal cavity is too small or when the organs are too large or swollen to close the skin, it may be difficult to fit all the viscera into the small abdominal cavity. In such cases, the surgeon will place a covering pouch generally made of silastic, commonly called a silo (because it’s shaped like an agricultural silo), over the abdominal organs on the outside of the infant. The silo serves to conserve heat and prevent infection. The silo is spring-loaded so that the device can be attached to the inside of the abdominal wall without sutures. The top of the silo is secured in a way that causes it to stand upright, so that the bowels are gradually coaxed into the abdominal cavity by gravity. This process can take up to a week, and final closure may be performed a few weeks later. More surgery may be required to repair the abdominal muscles at a later time

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage abdominal wall defect?

Some of birth defects are preventable by early and attentive prenatal care, good nutrition, supplemental vitamins, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle, along with the diligent avoidance of all unnecessary drugs and chemicals, especially tobacco.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: June 26, 2017 | Last Modified: June 26, 2017

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