An omphalocele is a defect found at birth characterized by abdominal organs such as the intestines, protruding out of the umbilicus (belly button). The abdominal organs are covered with a thin tissue and are visible from the outside. Though there is a no known definite cause, a variety of factors have been identified as a risk factor for this birth defect including the use of antidepressants at the time of pregnancy. The incidence of this birth defect is more likely doubled if antidepressant medications are taken at large doses. A study has been made that OTC painkillers can lessen the efficacy of antidepressants which might explain why some take them in an increased dosage.
Nature of Omphalocele
An omphalocele can be immediately observed upon inspection because the abdominal contents will spill out of the belly button. In minor cases, the intestines come out but in severe cases, some other abdominal organs follow such as the liver and spleen. In every 4000 babies, 1 of them has omphalocele and approximately 50% has a co-existing condition such as the chromosomal anomalies, trisomy 18 and 21. However, the most common conditions that exist together with omphalocele have something to do with the heart. This condition can be diagnosed even before birth by means of a sonogram (ultrasound) and Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP) Blood Test.
Management of Omphalocele
The ideal treatment for this birth anomaly is surgery but the time on which it is performed will be determined if your child has another birth defect such as heart defects, which is generally repaired first. Repairing the omphalocele will include a special man-made material which will be stitched on top of the sac followed by slowly pushing the abdominal contents back to where it should be. Once the abdominal organs have been successfully pushed back into the abdominal space, the stitched material will be removed. The skin will heal on its own but an surgical operation can be done so the child’s abdominal and skin muscles may have a better cosmetic result.
Prognosis of the Surgery on Omphalocele
The outcome of the surgery will be determined by a number of factors such as the extent of the condition, development of the abdominal space, injury to other organs, and the presence of other birth defects among other things. If omphalocele is small, prognosis is generally good but in some large ones, abdominal contents can no longer be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. If the omphalocele was identified before birth, the pregnant woman should be strictly monitored. This condition has also been connected as a Zoloft birth defect which means that taking medications should also be watched out for.
Tags: Health and Fitness