Gastroschisis surgery and treatment options
Gastroschisis is not currently treatable while your baby is in the womb. We treat gastroschisis with surgery after birth to place the intestines back in your baby's abdomen.
Soon after your baby is born, surgeons place the organs inside the abdomen and close the opening in the abdominal wall. In some cases, there are a larger amount of intestines outside the abdominal wall, and the intestines need to be placed back inside the abdomen at a slower pace. This process may take place over 3 to 5 days.
The extent of gastroschisis surgery required depends on how much of the intestines or additional organs lie outside their body at birth and if there is an associated closing or blockage in the intestine. Additional surgeries may be required if there is a blockage of the intestines.
During the process of gastroschisis surgery, your baby may need additional treatment such as:
- Intravenous (IV) nutrition
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Careful body temperature monitoring
Intravenous nutritional support is particularly important as it often takes weeks for the gastrointestinal tract to work well enough for feedings to fully support your baby.
Throughout treatment, our staff helps prepare families to care for their baby at home. We also connect loved ones with support groups and other resources to help them maintain their emotional and physical health during this recovery process.
What is the long-term outcome for babies with gastroschisis?
Gastroschisis outcomes have improved greatly in recent years, thanks largely to innovative surgical techniques. Research suggests that the survival rate for babies with gastroschisis is 90 percent. Babies with gastroschisis benefit greatly from being born in a facility with experts who specialize in children’s surgery. Babies recovering from gastroschisis surgery may also have trouble eating, digesting and absorbing nutrients, so it essential to consult a pediatric nutrition expert to ensure the long-term health of your baby.
Today’s procedures enable the vast majority of babies diagnosed with gastroschisis to live long and healthy lives. Their degree of need for ongoing care varies depending on the severity of the condition and associated symptoms.
Why choose the Colorado Fetal Care Center for your child’s gastroschisis care?
The most important part of gastroschisis treatment is having your baby in the hands of capable surgeons soon after birth. Our pediatric surgeons have extra training and experience in performing surgery on children and infants and have the most experience in the Rocky Mountain region in treating these kinds of birth defects. When it comes to your child’s care, that pediatric expertise matters.
If your baby is diagnosed before birth, our Colorado Fetal Care Center team will help coordinate your baby’s care every step of your journey. From diagnosis and delivery, to surgery and ongoing care, your baby will be expertly treated and cared for in our nationally-recognized Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In addition to your baby receiving care from a full team of specialists, we also help you and your family feel as prepared as possible to return home and care for your child as they grow.