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Omphalocele or umbilical hernia?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

At my 20 week ultrasound the tech pointed out to the OB an area of concern near the point of entry of the umbilical cord, and said it was possibly an umbilical hernia or omphalocele. It's very small though, he made a point of saying that he had seen some far bigger. So he sent me to the hospital to have another Level II ultrasound, which I had yesterday, and I got the same feedback from the MFM doc, who explained it could be either, that with an ultrasound you can't discern between the two. I knew from my research before the appt that umbilical hernias are pretty benign, and usually heal on their own in the first year. But omphaloceles require surgery to fix. What I didn't expect is when she told me that it can be associated with other abnormalities and chromosomal defects. I had done the Materni21 test, and everything looked fine, the nuchal test at 13 weeks and everything looked fine. She tells me that they aren't 100% accurate, like an amnio would be, which she recommended but I am not keen on. I do not want to do anything invasive that could cause a miscarriage, especially when we have no idea if it even is an omphalocele. She also recommended a cardiac echo of the baby to check for heart abnormalities, I think because it's the most common one that overlaps with an omphalocele if Down's is involved. That I will do. Baby is growing well and measuring a little big for it's age, so there aren't any other red flags there. 


Has anyone else had this experience?  Waiting to hear back from my regular OB to get his opinion.


post #2 of 9

Bumping this up for attention. smile.gif Anyone have experience to share? ella'smommy, I'm sending support to you as you continue to gather information and make these decisions.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks HappyHappyMommy. I had a fetal cardiac echo this week, and it was normal, so the medical advice I have gotten is that a risk of chromosomal abnormality is low. I had a normal Materni21 test and nuchal measurement, so the geneticist told my OB We can be reasonably confident. But we still can't tell if it's a small hernia or omphalocele.

I would love to know if anyone else has been down this path.
post #4 of 9
My oldest daughter showed an ompholacele at an mid-pregnancy ultra sound, it was small, and it actually healed before her birth. My third daughter was born with a hernia, which also healed all by itself. I would say, do what feels right to you. There isn't anything they can do before birth anyway.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks Presslermom. I haven'tfound much about small omphaloceles, when you google everything is about large ones, so I hadn't heard of them self healing! I knew that hernias likely would. Fingers crossed our outcome doesn't involve surgery either!

post #6 of 9
You're welcome. I remember the fear that the doctor set in me with my oldest. Did your doc tell you the measurement of it? My daughter's was very small but it's hard to remember. I'll be praying for you all!
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

They didn't say the measurement, just 'very small'. And I saw the image and agree with very small. We had a cardiac echo this week and she took a look at the end and said the same thing. I'm having a repeat scan done this week to look for any changes, so I will ask for a measurement. I've been trying to keep a sense of perspective on this, it's small, may not even need surgery, may just be a hernia!,  but the chromosomal abnormality potential threw me for a loop. We are pretty confident now that's not the case, that and your expereince goes a long way to alleviate my anxiety. Thank you :)

post #8 of 9
Hey Ellasmommy. Just checking to see how things turned out. Hope you are all well!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi and thanks for asking! It did end up being a small omphalocele in the cord. There was a diverticular pouch off of his intestine that was in the cord that the surgeon repaired, and closed his belly button. It healed well and he was home from the hospital 4 days later. One fortunate thing the surgeon did was order a kidney ultrasound before surgery and we saw that one of his kidneys doesn't empty completely. He's been on a low dose of amoxicillin since to prevent potential UTI's and we'll have it rescanned every few months to see if it will resolve on its own. We wouldn't have known about it otherwise until he started to develop UTI's and potential damage from that, so I'm grateful too that we found that early too. Otherwise he's a healthy, happy guy who has already doubled his birth weight at 3 months old!
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