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An omphalocele can be clearly seen, because the abdominal contents stick out (protrude) through the belly button area.
There are different sizes of omphaloceles. In small ones, only the intestines stick out. In larger ones, the liver or spleen may stick out of the body as well.
Prenatal ultrasounds often identify infants with an omphalocele before birth. Otherwise, a physical examination of the infant is enough for your health care provider to diagnose this condition. Testing is usually not necessary.
Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 17th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders; 2004:2116-2117.
Ledbetter DJ. Gastroschisis and omphalocele. Surg Clin North Am. 2006;86(2):249-260.
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