Abdominal wall defects

World J Surg. 2003 Jan;27(1):117-24. doi: 10.1007/s00268-002-6746-1.


The frequent use of prenatal diagnostic techniques including ultrasound and maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein has increasingly led to detection of abdominal wall defects before birth. This prenatal detection creates the opportunity to influence neonatal outcome by alteration in management of pregnancy or delivery. The optimal management of an individual fetus depends on careful prenatal assessment of the abdominal wall defect, combined with experience and knowledge of the natural history for that particular lesion. A multidisciplinary approach to the fetus can improve neonatal outcome. Careful assessment for other structural anomalies and karyotype analysis should be performed. Delivery at a high-risk perinatal center should be encouraged. Currently, there is no convincing evidence to support routine cesarean section for most abdominal wall defects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles / abnormalities*
  • Animals
  • Bladder Exstrophy / surgery
  • Cesarean Section
  • Cloaca / abnormalities
  • Fetal Diseases / surgery*
  • Gastroschisis / pathology
  • Gastroschisis / physiopathology
  • Gastroschisis / surgery
  • Hernia, Umbilical / surgery
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal