About abdominal wall defect

What is abdominal wall defect?

Gastroschisis is a rare congenital disorder in which a defect is present in the wall of the abdomen. Typically there is a small abdominal cavity with herniated abdominal organs that usually appear on the right side of the abdomen. There is no membranous sac covering the organs and the intestines may be swollen and look shortened due to exposure to the liquid that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy (amniotic fluid).

What are the symptoms for abdominal wall defect?

A gap between the abdominal muscles that can be seen w symptom was found in the abdominal wall defect condition

Both omphalocele and gastroschisis share one major characteristic. In both conditions, a baby’s intestines extend out of a hole in the belly. In some cases, other organs like the liver or stomach also push out through the hole.

There are some key differences between these two serious conditions.

What are the causes for abdominal wall defect?

The causes of gastroschisis and omphalocele aren’t well understood. Researchers believe the conditions develop because of abnormal changes in genes or chromosomes. Exposure to environmental toxins or medications could cause some of these changes. There still needs to be more research done to better understand the causes.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant and concerned about exposure to something that may be harmful to your unborn child. They can help determine any appropriate tests you should have during pregnancy, or conditions they may want to test for after birth. Your doctor can also connect you with a genetic counselor who can help you understand the risks.

What are the treatments for abdominal wall defect?

Surgery to place the organs back inside the baby’s belly is necessary for both conditions. If the hole is small and only a small part of the intestines is pushing through, the operation may take place soon after birth.

If there is a larger opening with more of the intestines and other organs visible, treatment may require more than one surgery. The surgeries would occur in stages over a period of time. The hole is closed once the organs are in the correct positions inside the belly.

In addition to the size of the hole, the baby’s age is a factor in deciding when and how to operate. A baby born prematurely may need to wait for surgery until they are a little bigger and stronger.

Treatment usually includes giving the baby nutrients and fluids through an IV. Antibiotics are usually given to help prevent an infection. Care also includes monitoring of the baby’s body temperature and warming them as needed.

What are the risk factors for abdominal wall defect?

It’s not clear why some women give birth to babies with gastroschisis or omphalocele. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that teenage mothers have a higher risk of having a baby with gastroschisis than older mothers.

CDCTrusted Source researchers also identified more risks for omphalocele. These include:

  • drinking alcohol or smoking more than a pack of cigarettes per day during pregnancy
  • taking antidepressant medications called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) while pregnant
  • being obese during pregnancy

Is there a cure/medications for abdominal wall defect?

There is no cure for abdominal wall defects, but there are ways to treat them.

There are four main types of abdominal wall defects:
Ventral hernias
Diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles)

If you have one or more of these conditions, there are several treatments that may help you lead a normal life.

  • Surgery is usually required to repair the defect, but if it's too big or too complicated to fix, you may need to consider another treatment option.
  • Sometimes, surgery isn't an option because the defect is too large or it's located in an area that makes it difficult to fix. In this case, doctors may use medical devices like mesh or a sling instead of performing surgery.
  • In order to treat abdominal wall defect, a surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen and then suture the hole together. This is called an ostomy.
  • An ostomy is when a part of your intestine is pulled out through an opening in your abdomen so that you can empty your bowel into a bag attached to it instead of having to go through the normal process of elimination.
  • In most cases, the ostomy will be temporary; however, if the problem persists or returns after surgery, you may need to have an ostomy permanently.
  • Another treatment option is "tension free" closure, where surgeons use sutures instead of staples to close up any openings in your abdomen or pelvis area like those caused by hernias.
  • This helps prevent complications like infections and swelling after surgery, which could lead them back into old habits like smoking cigarettes, which could cause serious health problems.

A bulging belly,Diastasis recti, or a separation of the abdominal muscles,Pregnancy-related problems, such as incontinence and prolapse,Abdominal pain, especially after eating,An umbilical hernia,A gap between the abdominal muscles that can be seen when you look at yourself in the mirror
Diastasis recti,Umbilical hernia,Flank hernia,Hernia in the small intestine,Hernia in the large intestine,Hernia in the bladder

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