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Boy or girl? Blue eyes or brown? Mom’s nose or dad’s? At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that your baby is born healthy or, if there are complications, that the newest addition to your family is in the very best hands. In the Gulf South region, no one has more experience treating babies with birth defects such as gastroschisis than Ochsner.
Gastroschisis is a type of hernia, or rupture, where the baby’s abdominal organs spill outside the body into the amniotic fluid through a hole on the right side of the belly button. Fortunately, in most cases, this condition can be fixed surgically and many babies born with gastroschisis can go on to lead healthy, normal lives.
Why Ochsner for Gastroschisis Care?
At Ochsner, delivery and gastroschisis surgery can take place at the same location, sparing you the emotional pain and stress of being separated from your baby – not to mention the inconvenience of having two family members in two different hospitals. When you choose Ochsner Baptist, your baby won’t be across town. Your family and loved ones will be together while your newborn continues to receive the best treatment from the knowledgeable team at Ochsner Baptist’s renowned Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The gastroschisis care team at Ochsner is comprised of obstetricians, high-risk OB specialists, neonatologists, pediatric surgeons, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and other pediatric specialists. Our team routinely works with referring physicians to outline care plans.
Appointments and Tours
Delivery and care for babies with gastroschisis is performed at Ochsner Baptist. Ochsner also has health clinics in Covington, Slidell and Raceland. Clinics in Houma and Monroe will be opening in the near future.
To schedule an appointment or to tour the Ochsner Baptist NICU, call 504-842-3907.
What You Can Expect
You’ve had an ultrasound and the doctor’s suspicions have been confirmed: your baby has gastroschisis. Next comes a meeting with a high-risk OB and a pediatric surgeon at Ochsner. Together, you’ll review test results, possible scenarios and address any questions you need answered. As you get closer to your due date, our team will closely monitor the development of your fetus, the amount of amniotic fluid present and more. What’s more, your doctor may order additional ultrasounds to monitor changes in your baby’s intestines and your baby’s overall growth.
When you go into labor, you will most likely get to deliver your baby vaginally unless the condition calls for a cesarean delivery. After birth, one of our pediatric surgeons will surgically repair the opening in your baby’s abdominal wall. This surgery may take place within a few hours, days or weeks. It all depends on the size of the rupture and how much of your baby’s intestines and/or organs are exposed. At the present time, there is no fetal intervention available for gastroschisis.
How long your baby will have to stay in the hospital after surgery depends upon whether there was intestinal blockage and how well your little one is able to tolerate feedings. When your baby has achieved adequate weight gain, you’ll be ready to buckle him or her into the car seat for the ride home. After discharge, our team will continue to keep close tabs on your newborn’s overall growth and the condition of his or her intestines.
Both before and after your baby is born, you will have the opportunity to meet with a social worker. This will give you a chance to work through your fears and get your questions answered.