Omphalocele is an abdominal wall defect at the base of the umbilical cord (umbilicus); the infant is born with a sac protruding through the defect which contains small intestine, liver, and large intestine. Omphalocele is frequently associated with other birth defects, such as heart defects, imperforate anus, urinary problems, and genetic defects. Omphalocele is very similar to gastroschisis, except that the organs are enclosed in a sac.
Review Date 3/12/2019
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.