Survival for newborns with congenital abdominal wall defects (primarily omphalocele and gastroschisis) has improved, but controversy remains regarding etiology, anatomy and embryology, the role of prenatal diagnosis and mode of delivery, and initial management. A number of recent studies have added to our knowledge and understanding of several of these topics, while several others have raised questions regarding traditional initial management of these infants. Continued improvement in the survival of these infants can be anticipated with further understanding of the in utero and antepartum diagnosis and management of infants with these common congenital abnormalities.
*Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, USA; and †Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Correspondence to Thomas R. Weber, MD, Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, 1465 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA; e-mail: Weberm2@slu.edu