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Amnion inversion in the treatment of giant omphalocele

Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0022-3468(91)90143-h


Abstract Operative repair of giant omphaloceles remains a technical challenge to close the wide abdominal wall defect. Currently, most surgeons remove the amnion to approximate the linea alba and/or skin edges or to suture prosthetic material to the abdominal wall and cover the defect with skin flaps. In doing so, the liver commonly becomes extruded and distended with blood, compounding the problem of reducing all of the viscera within the small abdominal cavity. Furthermore, bowel obstruction from adhesions produced from opening the abdomen is a life-long threat. We describe six cases of giant omphalocele in which the amnion was left intact, and it was progressively inverted into the abdominal cavity by using the silastic silo, as it is used for gastroschisis. The birth weight of these infants ranged from 2,360 to 3,240 g. The abdominal wall defect measured 7.0 cm to 10.5 cm in width, and protruded at least 8 cm beyond the abdominal wall. The first stage of repair was to suture the silastic silo to the skin-amnion junction, and progressively reduce the bowel and liver within the abdomen. The intrabdominal pressure is monitored by nasogastric tube or by an indwelling bladder catheter to avoid pressures greater than 20 cm H 2O, which might compromise intestinal and renal circulation. The second stage consisted of incising the skin/amnion junction to expose the linea alba. The linea alba was approximated while leaving the amnion intact and folding it into the abdominal cavity. This avoids entering the peritoneum or interfering with the blood flow to and from the liver. The amnion seems to resorb, and there have not been any adverse effects over the 5-year period of follow-up.

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