Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which the infants abdomen develops outside of the baby's body. Gastroschisis is typically diagnosed during pregnancy.
Once a diagnosis of gastroschisis is made, the fetus should be carefully monitored and the infant’s delivery and repair is planned. Because the bowels have grown outside of of the infant's body they are unprotected. This condition is very rare, occurring in about 1 in every 2000 babies.
The cause is unknown but is not thought to be hereditary.
Surgery to repair gastroschisis is complex and should take place as soon as possible following the infant’s delivery to prevent damage to the intestines.