Digestive and Gastrointestinal Conditions

Gastroschisis Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Gastroschisis

If your baby has gastroschisis, you are not likely to notice any signs or symptoms related to the condition while you are pregnant.

After birth, your baby may have symptoms related to gastroschisis, especially if any organs were pinched, twisted or damaged when passing through the hole in your baby’s belly. Your doctor will look for these problems when your baby is born. About 1 in 10 babies with gastroschisis have another bowel problem called intestinal atresia, which means part of their intestine has not formed completely and is blocked.

Gastroschisis treatment includes surgery to put the baby’s organs back into the belly. Some babies have trouble digesting food after the gastroschisis is fixed. With time, more than 95% of babies treated for gastroschisis will eat and gain weight normally. Our team of experts includes nutritionists who specialize in infants with problems such as gastroschisis. These nutritionists will help monitor your baby to be sure they are growing and gaining enough weight.

Whether you are breast-feeding or pumping, you can get lactation support from your nurses, Lactation Services and Occupational and Physical Therapy. They can help with questions or supplies.

Gastroschisis Diagnosis

Doctors usually diagnose gastroschisis during a routine ultrasound before a baby is born. Routine blood tests for pregnant women may also show a high level of a protein called alpha-fetoprotein (AFP).

If your baby is diagnosed with gastroschisis, our Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment Program can work with you and your doctor to plan your prenatal care and your baby’s treatment. If needed, our prenatal experts will talk with you about having genetic tests to check for other problems, although these are unlikely.

Contact Us

To learn more about gastroschisis treatment at Seattle Children’s, call our General and Thoracic Surgery Department at 206-987-2794 x4.