Conditions + Treatments

Gastroschisis | Treatments

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Contact the Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation (CAIR)

  • 1-617-355-5275
  • Fax: 1-617-730-0477
Please indicate: Attention CAIR

Most babies with gastroschisis are born via natural birth. However, if the baby’s lungs are mature or your doctor is worried about the baby’s intestines, they may recommend an early Caesarean section delivery.

After delivery, your baby will receive fluids via an intravenous tube. A clear plastic bag will be placed over the baby’s lower body and torso to protect the exposed intestines and other abdominal organs. The baby will then be brought to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). A surgeon will evaluate your baby and initial surgery to repair the opening and return the intestines to their proper place will take place within 12-24 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 several days.

Most babies recover well. Recovery time in the hospital includes feeding through the intravenous tubing until the baby can be safely fed into the intestines (this can often take weeks to months, with an average of around 38 days).

In some cases, a baby will develop a condition known as short bowel syndrome (SBS). SBS occurs if the intestine does not function properly (dysmotility) or if a large portion of the intestine had to be removed due to damage from the gastroschisis. SBS results in the baby’s inability to get enough nutrition and vitamins/minerals through the intestine and the baby may require a longer course of IV nutrition.

In this case, a longer hospital course may be required and intestinal management by our multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation (CAIR) team will be undertaken to help optimize your baby’s care.

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Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
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