Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which an infant's intestines stick out (protrude) through a hole in the abdominal wall. Sometimes, gastroschisis can be repaired surgically at birth. Most often, the infant's abdominal cavity is too small for the intestine to fit back in. So a mesh sack called a silo is stitched around the borders of the defect, and the end of the silo is hung above the baby. This allows gravity to help the intestine to slip back into the abdomen. Over time, the intestine returns into the abdominal cavity and the defect can then be closed.
Review Date 3/15/2021
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery Practice Specializing in Breast Cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.