Gastroschisis Child



The cause of gastroschisis is not well understood. It may be caused by a mother's exposure to toxins.

Risk Factors

Gastroschisis is more common in babies born to teenage mothers. Other things that may raise the risk in a pregnant mother are:

  • Smoking
  • Drug use
  • Certain medicines
  • Urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted infections (STI)
  • Being around toxins



Intestines will be seen outside of the body, often to the right of the belly button.


Gastroschisis may be suspected after blood tests in the mother. A fetal ultrasound will show if there are intestines outside of the abdominal wall. Early diagnosis will help guide birth and treatment plans. If it is not found before birth, then it will be found as soon as the child is born.

Pictures may be taken after the baby is born. This can be done with ultrasound.



After the baby is born, surgery will be needed to put the organs inside the body and close the gap. The type of surgery that is done depends on the size of the defect. Large defects may need more than one surgery.

Medicines may also be given, such as:

  • Dextrose and electrolyte solutions for nutrition and hydration
  • Antibiotics if an infection is present or possible


There are no current guidelines to prevent gastroschisis.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.