Fort Worth, Texas,
11:16 AM

What is gastroschisis?

T.J. Oshie’s daughter born with condition

alternate textPhoto courtesy of: Mark Buckner/St. Louis Blues

T.J. Oshie, a hockey star, became a national hero after helping Team USA beat Russia in a dramatic shootout. But now the St. Louis Blues player is in the headlines for a different reason, after his fiancé, Lauren Cosgrove, gave birth to a little girl. Their daughter was born with gastroschisis, a condition where the baby is born with the intestines on the outside of the body.

We asked James P. Miller, M.D., a pediatric surgeon for Cook Children’s, to give us some answers about gastroschisis.

Cook Children’s: What causes gastroschisis?
Dr. Miller: No one is really sure what causes it. We think it happens while the baby is developing and the abdominal wall is being formed.  It’s an abdominal wall defect where the intestines protrude through the abdominal wall. Interestingly enough it’s almost always on the right side. In the most basic terms, it’s like having a ruptured umbilical, or belly button, hernia.

Cook Children’s: How rare is gastroschisis?
Dr. Miller: It’s about 1 in every 3,000 births. Sixty percent of babies with gastroschisis are born premature and to mothers of young age. At Cook Children’s, we probably see about 30 or so per year.

Cook Children’s: What are the main concerns for babies with gastroschisis?
Dr. Miller: Getting the bowel back in the baby. Often times, this needs to done in stages over a period of days.  Another concern is that the gastrointestinal tract is slow to function. About 10 percent of babies will have an area of narrowing and some with a segment of bowel missing. When this occurs the recovery is more prolonged. Babies will need to be fed through their veins while the GI tract recovers. 

Cook Children’s: What is the prognosis?
Dr. Miller: Overall, quite good. Usually, babies are here at the Cook Children’s NICU for anywhere between four to eight weeks after delivery and the defect is usually isolated.

Photo of T.J.Oshie courtesy of: Mark Buckner/St. Louis Blues




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