Get answers to your child's growth, nutrition, and feeding behavior questions.
After surgery, your baby will receive care in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. Your baby will be placed in a special bed called an isolette. This bed has an incubator to keep your baby warm.
Your baby may need to be on a breathing machine until organ swelling has decreased and the size of their belly area has increased.
Other treatments your baby will probably need after surgery are:
Feedings are started through the NG tube as soon as your babyâ€™s bowel starts functioning after surgery. Feedings by mouth will start very slowly. Your baby may eat slowly and may need feeding therapy and a lot of encouragement.
The total length of time in the hospital will vary. It will depend on whether there are other birth defects and complications. You may be able to take your baby home once he or she is taking all foods by mouth and gaining weight.
After you go home, your child may develop a bowel obstruction (a blockage in the intestines) due to a kink or scar in the intestines.
Most of the time, surgery can correct omphalocele. How well your baby does depends on how much damage or loss of intestine there was, and whether your child has other birth defects.
Some babies have gastroesophageal reflux after surgery. This condition causes food or stomach acid to come back up from the stomach into the esophagus.
Some babies with large omphaloceles may also have small lungs and may need to use a breathing machine.
All babies born with an omphalocele should have chromosome testing. This will help parents understand the risk for this disorder in future pregnancies.
Ledbetter DJ. Gastroschisis and omphalocele. Surgical Clinics of North America. April 2006;86(2).
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