Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Abdominal wall defect repair is a surgery performed to correct one of two birth defects of the abdominal wall: gastroschisis or omphalocele. Depending on the defect treated, the procedure is also known as omphalocele repair/closure or gastroschisis...
Abdominal wall defect repair
Alternative name: Gastroschisis repair
Gastroschisis repair is surgery that corrects a congenital defect in which all or parts of the small intestine and other internal organs protrude outside of the abdomen. Gastroschisis is an abdominal wall defect located to the side of the umbilical cord (umbilicus). The infant is born with intestines protruding through this defect and no protective sac is present.
Surgical repair of abdominal wall defects involves placing the abdominal organs back into the abdomen through the defect, and repairing the defect if possible. If immediate replacement is not possible, a sterile pouch is created to protect the intestines while they are gradually pushed back into the abdomen over a period of time.
Immediately after delivery, the infantâ€™s exposed organs are covered with warm, moist, sterile dressings. A nasogastric (NG) tube is inserted through the babyâ€™s nose or mouth into the stomach to keep the stomach empty, to prevent choking on or breathing stomach contents into the lungs (aspiration). This surgery is done as soon as the infant is stable.
While the baby is under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free) an incision is made to remove the sac membrane. The intestine is examined closely for signs of damage or additional birth defects. Damaged or defective portions are removed and the healthy edges are stitched together.
A tube may be inserted into the stomach (gastrostomy tube) and out through the skin. The organs are replaced into the abdominal cavity and the incision closed, if possible.
If the abdominal cavity is too small or the protruding organs are too swollen to allow the skin to be closed, a pouch called a silo will be made from a sheet of plastic to cover and protect the organs. Complete closure may be done over a few weeks. Surgery may be necessary to repair the abdominal muscles at a later time.
The babyâ€™s abdomen may be smaller than normal. Placing the abdominal organs into the abdomen increases the pressure within the abdominal cavity and can cause breathing difficulties. The infant may require the use of a breathing tube and machine (ventilator) for a few days or weeks until the swelling of the abdominal organs has decreased and the size of the abdomen has increased.
Biliary colic is the presenting symptom in 80% of patients with gallstone disease who seek medical care; however, only 10-20% of all individuals with gallstones experience severe gallstone pain.
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