What is an omphalocele?

An omphalocele is a congenital condition (condition at birth) of the baby’s abdominal (belly) wall. With an omphalocele, babies are born with intestines, liver, stomach or other organs outside of their belly. These organs are covered by a thin, transparent sac. This sac is called the omphalocele sac.

What causes an omphalocele?

We do not know why some babies are born with their organs outside of their belly. We know that as babies grow from 6 weeks to 10 weeks of pregnancy, the intestines grow longer and push out from the belly into the umbilical cord. By the 11th week, they normally go back into the belly. However, with an omphalocele, this step does not happen. It is important to understand that this is not caused by something you did or did not do.

Rev. 1/2022. This website is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.