What is Gastroschisis?

What is Gastroschisis may well be the first question to enter your mind on hearing it for the first time. This guide aims to answer those questions.

“Gastroschisis is a condition where your baby develops a defect (hole) in the abdominal wall during development, while still inside your womb. This is usually to the right side of the umbilical cord and some of the bowel escapes through this hole and continues to develop outside your baby’s abdomen. This happens in approximately 4 in 10,000 births within the UK (source). There is an increased chance that your baby will be born premature and small. The number of cases of babies born with Gastroschisis has increased dramatically in the Western world over the past decade. The cause of this is not known”.

Worldwide prevalance of Gastroschisis is increasing.

Source: http://www.bsuh.nhs.uk

What is Gastroschisis exactly?

The following Gastroschisis videos will give you a good idea of what to expect, although they refer to tretment at the UCSF in the USA they do give a good indication of similar treatments and advice that may be offered by your health practitioners.

The views and opinions expressed in these videos belong to the orginal authors and do not necessarily represent those of gastroschisis.co.uk, if in any doubts please seek advice from those that are looking after you.

During Pregnancy

Delivery of your Baby

After the Birth

Gastroschisis Theory

What is known through current research is that the defect predominantly occurs on the right hand side of the umbilical cord, without the protection of a sac the intestines are exposed to an increased amount of amniotic fluid, this in turn prevents the development of our baby causing the Gastroschisis.

Through current study it is known that the Gastroschisis condition has very few other complications and is considered a sporadic condition which rarely repeats in other pregnancies which seems to eliminate a genetic condition.


The Treatment and care of your Babies Gastroschisis is carefully planned after referral to a specialist consultant, who will answer all parents questions and concerns related to the condition. Operation to repair the defect occurs immediately after birth followed by admittance to a special baby care unit for close monitoring.


New parents of the condition have questions that need answering, fortunately there are Gastroschisis forums and support groups that are currently available to provide the answers.

If you are to be a new parent with a child born with Gastroschisis, you will already have been referred to a consultant with sole expertise in the care and treatment for you and your baby, any links from this website to another about the condition are provided either by recognised medical bodies or as useful sources by registered members.

You have probably arrived on this website with a million questions as to how and why this condition is effecting you and your baby, right now there is no solid proof that Gastroschisis is caused by any one single factor, the condition is reportedly more predominant in mothers in their teens to early twenties, current speculation has linked Gastroschisis to drug abuse and smoking, this is currently not a conclusion. Genetics has also been another, but again the days of research into the condition are still young.

The easiest way to find answers is to read through the stories we have within the website that have been submitted by our members. If you still can not find what you are looking for why not add it to the site.