Omphalocele (pronounced uhm-fa-lo-seal) is a birth defect that the abdominal muscle (belly) wall. The infant’s intestines, liver, or other organs stick exterior of the belly v the belly button. The organs room covered in a thin, virtually transparent sac that hardly ever before is open or broken.

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What is Omphalocele?

Omphalocele, likewise known as exomphalos, is a birth defect that the abdominal muscle (belly) wall. The infant’s intestines, liver, or various other organs stick external of the belly v the belly button. The organs room covered in a thin, practically transparent sac the hardly ever is open up or broken.

As the baby develops during weeks six through ten the pregnancy, the intestines get longer and also push out from the belly into the umbilical cord. Through the eleventh mainly of pregnancy, the intestines usually go ago into the belly. If this does no happen, an omphalocele occurs. The omphalocele deserve to be small, with only some of the intestines external of the belly, or it deserve to be large, with plenty of organs external of the belly.

Jude"s Story

Jude was born with omphalocele. Read his story as well as other stories from families influenced by omphalocele

Other Problems

Because part or all of the ab (belly) offal are outside of the body, babies born v an omphalocele can have other problems. The abdominal cavity, the space in the body that holds this organs, can not flourish to its regular size. Also, epidemic is a concern, especially if the sac approximately the guts is broken. Sometimes, an organ might become pinched or twisted, and also loss that blood flow could damage the organ.

How numerous Babies are Born v Omphalocele?

Researchers estimate that around 1 in every 4,200 babies is born with omphalocele in the united States.1 numerous babies born v an omphalocele also have various other birth defects, such together heart defects, neural pipe defects, and chromosomal abnormalities.2

Causes and Risk Factors

The reasons of omphalocele amongst most infants are unknown. Some babies have actually omphalocele since of a change in their genes or chromosomes. Omphalocele might also be led to by a mix of genes and also other factors, such as the points the mom comes in call with in the environment or what the mom eats or drinks, or specific medicines she uses during pregnancy.

Like countless families influenced by birth defects, we at desire to discover out what causes them. Understanding factors that are an ext common among babies with a birth defect will help us learn much more about the causes. accumulation the Centers because that Birth Defects Research and also Prevention, which collaborate on large studies such together the national Birth Defects avoidance Study (NBDPS; births 1997-2011), to recognize the causes of and risks for birth defects, such together omphalocele.

Recently, researchers have reported crucial findings around some components that can affect the risk of having a baby through an omphalocele: continues to research birth defects such together omphalocele and also how to avoid them. If you room pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, talk v your doctor about ways to rise your chances of having actually a healthy and balanced baby.


An omphalocele can be diagnosed throughout pregnancy or after ~ a infant is born.

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there room screening tests (prenatal tests) to inspect for birth defects and other conditions. An omphalocele might result in one abnormal result on a blood or serum screening test or it could be seen during an ultrasound (which creates photos of the baby).

After a baby Is Born

In part cases, one omphalocele might not be diagnosed until after a infant is born. An omphalocele is seen instantly at birth.


Treatment for infants with one omphalocele counts on a number of factors, including

the dimension of the omphalocele,the existence of other birth defects or chromosomal abnormalities, andthe baby’s gestational age.

If the omphalocele is little (only several of the intestine is exterior of the belly), it generally is treated v surgery shortly after bear to put the intestine ago into the belly and close the opening. If the omphalocele is big (many organs external of the belly), the repair can be excellent in stages. The exposed organs might be spanned with a distinct material, and slowly, end time, the organs will be moved back into the belly. As soon as all the organs have actually been put back in the belly, the opening is closed.

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Mai CT, Isenburg JL, Canfield MA, Meyer RE, Correa A, Alverson CJ, Lupo PJ, Riehle‐Colarusso T, Cho SJ, Aggarwal D, Kirby RS. Nationwide population‐based approximates for significant birth defects, 2010–2014. Birth Defects Research. 2019; 111(18): 1420-1435.Stoll C, Alembik Y, Dott B, Roth MP. Omphalocele and gastroschisis and associated malformations. Am J Med Genet A. 2008 may 15;146A(10):1280-5.Bird TM, Robbins JM, Druschel C, Cleves MA, Yang S, Hobbs CA, & the national Birth Defects prevention Study . Demographic and also environmental risk determinants for gastroschisis and omphalocele in the national Birth Defects prevention Study. J Pediatr Surg, 2009;44:1546-1551.Alwan S, Reefhuis J, Rasmussen SA, Olney RS, Friedman JM, & the nationwide Birth Defects avoidance Study. Usage of Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors in Pregnancy and also the hazard of birth Defects. N Engl J Med, 2007;356:2684-92.Waller DK, shaw GM, Rasmussen SA, Hobbs CA, Canfield MA, Siega-Riz AM, Gallaway MS, Correa A, & the nationwide Birth Defects avoidance Study. Prepregnancy obesity as a risk factor for structural birth defects. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 2007;161(8):745-50.