The persistently high mortality rate for newborn infants with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which is symptomatic and treated in the first 24 hours of life, is due to multiple pulmonary and vascular factors. This demands the exclusion of any additional compromising elements. The effects of increased intra-abdominal pressure due to replacement of the intestine into the abdomen can be avoided by the formation of a ventral hernia. A large hernia can be produced best by suturing a sheet of Dacron reinforced Silastic to the fascia of a midline abdominal incision and covering it with skin flaps. This nonreactive prosthesis will remain in place for several months and later can be removed simply. This technique was used successfully in three infants and should improve the survival rate of precariously balanced newborn infants operated upon during the first few hours of life.