The intestines suffer somewhat during pregnancy, and will need time to recover. On average, it may take 2 to 3 weeks before the intestinal tract functions properly. Once gut function returns, it will likely take a while before the baby can tolerate full feeds. An infant with gastroschisis is likely to stay in the hospital for at least 1 month. Sometimes, this can be much longer, depending on the degree of prematurity and the condition of the bowel.
The overall outcome of gastroschisis repair is generally very good. Some infants may have minor intestinal problems in the first few months, but will recover and lead a normal life. The shape of the bellybutton may be affected, but scarring should be minimal.
The Fetal Treatment Program is a partnership of Hasbro Children's Hospital, Women & Infants' Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.