An omphalocele is an abdominal wall birth defect in which the intestines, liver, and occasionally other organs remain outside of the abdomen in a sac, as a result of a defect in the development of the muscles of the abdominal wall. The sac, which is formed from an outpouching of the peritoneum, protrudes in the midline through the umbilicus.
Omphalocele shouldn't be confused with another condition called gastroschisis, which also involves the herniation of abdominal contents out of the abdominal cavity. Unlike in omphalocele, herniated bowels in gastroschisis lack a peritoneal layer covering.
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