Gastroschisis | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is gastroschisis diagnosed?

Gastroschisis is often diagnosed prenatally, by ultrasound. Pregnant women may be referred to a neonatal surgeon.

How is gastroschisis treated?

If your baby's lungs are mature, your doctor may want to deliver your baby at 36 weeks. Therefore, a Caesarean delivery may be necessary.

After delivery, your baby will receive intravenous (IV) fluids. The intestines will be placed in a clear surgical plastic bag and your baby will be brought to the neonatal intensive care unit. Surgery to repair the opening and return the intestines to their proper place will take place within 12 to 24 hours. If the opening is small, the repair can be done in one step. If the opening is larger, it may need to take place slowly over three to five days.

Most babies recover well. Recovery time in the hospital includes feeding your baby through IV. In some cases, a baby will develop a condition known as short bowel syndrome, which is characterized by diarrhea, very slow weight gain and deficiencies of important vitamins and minerals. In this instance, your baby may require a longer course of IV nutrition.