Omphalocele (Abdominal Wall Defect)

An omphalocele is an abdominal wall defect that is characterized by the baby’s intestines or other abdominal organs sticking out of the belly button. These organs are incorrectly situated outside of the body and are covered by a thin layer of tissue called a sac. The omphalocele results from the muscles of the baby’s abdominal wall not closing properly. The size of omphaloceles can range from small, in which only the intestines protrude from the stomach to large, in which the liver or spleen may also stick out of the baby’s stomach.

Omphalocele Causes

Anti-depressants: Risk of developing an omphalocele may be nearly tripled for infants exposed to certain anti-depressants before birth, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The anti-depressants linked to this and other birth defects may include:

Effexor, a similar anti-depressant, is also being researched for a possible link to an increased risk of omphalocele.

Clomid: Maternal use of the fertility drug Clomid more than doubles an infant’s risk of being born with an omphalocele, according to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


An omphalocele may be repaired with surgery, although not always right away. Omphaloceles are not life threatening, although they do require extensive care to correct. After birth, a synthetic material is stitched into place over the sac. Over time, the abdominal contents gradually return to the abdomen with the help of gravity. Once the organs have been returned to the abdomen, a surgeon will remove the synthetic covering and close the abdomen. In rare cases when the omphalocele is very large, it cannot be placed back in the baby’s abdomen. When this occurs, the skin around the omphalocele grows and eventually covers it. When the child is older, the abdominal muscles and skin can be repaired for better appearance.

Your Baby’s Rights

If your baby was born with an omphalocele that may have been caused by exposure to prescription drugs before birth, your family deserves financial compensation. Although no amount of money will change what happened to your baby, compensation will help offset the current and future medical costs, as well as provide for the pain and suffering you and your baby have experienced. Filing a claim will also teach the manufacturers of unsafe medications that it is unacceptable to not warn parents of the risks associated with these drugs, including serious birth defects. Your suit may even prevent other families from suffering as yours has, by forcing the pharmaceutical company to change their drug’s label to warn parents of the potential risks.

Contact Us

You may be eligible for compensation to ease the financial burdens associated with your baby’s injury. Contact us today to set up a free consultation, during which we will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.

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