Gastroschisis Birth Defects

Gastroschisis is a serious birth defect that affects an infant’s abdominal wall. The condition is described as a hole beside the belly button where the intestines are exposed outside of the body. Depending on the size of the opening in the child’s belly, other organs can also be exposed outside of the body. This defect develops in utero and is a result of the abdominal wall not forming correctly. This disease can be very painful as the bowel can become irritated due to twisting, swelling, or shortening. This discomfort occurs because the intestines are free from their protective sac and are exposed to the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus.

Surgery is required shortly after birth in order to restore the organs to their correct position inside the body and to repair the wall of the abdomen so that the intestines remain intact. Babies who have developed Gastroschisis may still experience a number of complications even after surgery. Some of these issues includes: digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and problems feeding. This is a serious defect that affects roughly 1,871 babies born in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Medication’s Effect on Gastroschisis

There are various factors that can contribute to the development of gastroschisis, but like many other birth defects, research suggests that there are possible links to certain SSRI’s or antidepressants. Some SSRIs that may be linked to gastroschisis include:

  • Prozac
  • Zoloft
  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Pexeva

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Gastroschisis is immediately noticeable upon birth and depending on the size of the defect, surgery may be a simple, one-time procedure. For larger defects, multiple surgeries may be required through the child’s infancy. Children who develop Gastroschisis are likely to need multiple treatments in order to receive nutrients and prevent the possibility of any infection.

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