A total of 48 infants with abdominal wall defects referred to the South West Regional Neonatal Surgical Centre over a period of six years were reviewed. There were 27 (56%) infants with gastroschisis and 21 (44%) infants with exomphalos. At the regional centre, four pregnancies with gastroschisis were terminated following a prenatal diagnosis, one child was stillborn, and one with exomphalos and trisomy 13 died soon after birth. Of the remaining 42 live births, the one year survival for babies born with a gastroschisis was 95% (21/22) and with an exomphalos was 81% (17/20). All deaths, except one, were due to factors other than the abdominal defect. The effect on outcome of prenatal diagnosis, parental counselling, in utero transfer, mode of delivery, and methods of surgical closure was reviewed.
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