What is gastroschisis?


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Know the basics

What is gastroschisis?

Gastroschisis is a birth defect that occurs to the child while they are inside the mother’s womb. A part of the child’s abdomen develops outside the body due to the incomplete formation of the abdominal wall. Most babies with gastroschisis are prematurely born.

How common is gastroschisis?

Gastroschisis is a rare congenital condition. Gastroschisis is a rare disorder that affects males and females in equal numbers. Estimates of birth prevalence for this disorder are approximately one in 1,500 to 1 in 13,000. However, this condition is getting more common if the pregnant women who are under 20 years old. If you are planning to be a mother, you can learn to manage this condition by having pre-tests or discuss with the doctor for further information before getting pregnant.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of gastroschisis?

Gastroschisis can be visible recognized because there is a hole on the abdomen and the baby’s intestine are located outside the body. There can be some darker-colored areas of the intestine because are contacted with the amniotic fluids inside the worm. If the intestine is damaged, the child will have problem digesting foods.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

Future moms should set appointments regularly with the doctor to check for gastrochisis as well as her baby’s health condition during pregnancy.

Know the causes

What causes gastroschisis?

The exact cause of gastroschisis is unknown, but it can lead to other health conditions. This condition can be due to changes in the hormone or genes (chromosomes) of the baby. Gastroschisis can also be caused by the contact of mother with other environmental factors, the things she eats or drinks, medications she is using, etc. Therefore, it is important to check your health with your doctor regularly during pregnancy.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for gastroschisis?

There are many risk factors for gastroschisis, such as:

  • Young-age mother: being pregnant while you are at your teenage age put you in higher risks of having a baby with gastroschisis than the older mothers.
  • Using alcohol or tobacco also increases the risk for gastroschisis.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

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

How is gastroschisis diagnosed?

Gastroschisis is often seen at the child’s birth, but it can be diagnosed sooner. During pregnancy, doctor will perform prenatal ultrasound scanning to check for gastroschisis. This is also to help the mother and the doctor to discuss and set plans for the proper time and place to give birth.

How is gastroschisis treated?

If the doctor can identify gastroschisis before childbirth, they will also check if the baby’s overall health is in good condition.

Once the baby is born, a surgery will be required to treat the protruding intestine. If the gastroschisis is small, doctors can perform the surgery at once to put back the intestine into the belly of baby and close the hole. However, if the gastroschisis is too large, the correction will be conducted through stages.

After putting back the intestine into the abdomen and closing the opening , the baby needs to be protected from infections with IV and antibiotics, also supplied with essential nutrients to maintain overall health.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage gastroschisis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help the mother cope with gastroschisis:

  • Having tests to check for the baby’s health during pregnancy regularly;
  • Avoid getting pregnant in young age;
  • Avoid using alcohol and 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: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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