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Omphalocele repair is surgery to repair a birth defect in the wall of the belly (abdomen) in which all or parts of the small intestine, liver, and large intestine stick out of the belly button (navel) in a thin sac.
Other birth defects are also present.
The goal of surgery is to place the abdominal organs back into the babyâ€™s body and fix the defect in the wall of the belly, if possible. Immediately after birth:
For infants with small omphaloceles, the surgery is done soon after birth.
If the infant has a large omphalocele, the surgery is usually delayed. The intestines and other organs can be gently squeezed into the belly with the help of a plastic pouch called a silo. This can take a few weeks. Surgery will be done right away if the sac around the organs breaks.
Before surgery, your baby will receive general anesthesia. This will make your baby asleep and pain-free during the operation.
The surgeon will make a cut to remove the sac around the organs. The intestines will be examined closely for signs of damage or other birth defects. Unhealthy parts will be removed, and the healthy edges will be stitched together.
More surgery may be needed later to repair the muscles in your baby's belly.
Omphalocele is a life-threatening condition that needs immediate treatment. It needs to be treated soon after birth so that the baby' s organs can develop and be protected in the belly.
Ledbetter DJ. Gastroschisis and omphalocele. Surgical Clinics of North America. April 2006;86(2).
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