What is Omphalocele?
Omphalocele, also known as exomphalos, is a birth defect of the abdominal (belly) wall. The infant's intestines, liver, or other organs stick outside of the belly through the belly button. The organs are covered in a thin, nearly transparent sac that hardly ever is open or broken.
As the baby develops during weeks six through ten of pregnancy, the intestines get longer and push out from the belly into the umbilical cord. By the eleventh week of pregnancy, the intestines normally go back into the belly. If this does not happen, an omphalocele occurs. The omphalocele can be small, with only some of the intestines outside of the belly, or it can be large, with many organs outside of the belly.
Content provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For information and references about omphalocele, please visit: Facts about Omphalocele.