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The treatment of Gastroschisis/Exomphalos can only be finalised once the baby is born and the medical team involved assess the situation. What we have tried to do in this section is to give an overall idea of what to expect. Since most surgeons and doctors each have their own way of handling their jobs, we have just outlined below the general steps taken in this procedure.

Once the baby is breathing normally it is likely that a tube will be put up the baby's nose and into his/her stomach. (The tube is called a naso gastric tube or N.G.T. or N.G. tube). The N.G. tube will be left in place and is used to get rid of excess air which could make the baby's bowel more swollen. The baby's exposed parts are usually wrapped in surgical cling film which further prevents the chances of infection.

The baby is placed in an incubator and a drip inserted to enable antibiotics and fluids to be given. Sometimes the baby might need a little extra oxygen and this will be given via a head box or mask.

Once everything is stable the surgical team will decide on one of two types of operation. If there is only a small amount of bowel outside, it is most likely that it will be returned to the baby's abdomen and the wound closed. This is called a primary repair.

Sometimes if the Gastroschisis/Exomphalos is large or if the abdominal cavity is small the surgeons will construct a pouch in which the Gastroschisis/Exomphalos is placed. The pouch is then suspended from the ceiling of the incubator and gravity along with a reduction of the size of the pouch will help the Gastroschisis/Exomphalos to slip back inside the abdomen.

This may take a week or more in total and only then will the final closure occur. Occasionally there is not enough skin to cover the affected area, and a patch of silicone meshing or gortex patch is stitched to the skin. Over the next few months the skin will slowly grow over the patch. This type of surgery is called a staged repair.