Omphalocele is a rare birth defect. An omphalocele happens when the bowel, liver and sometimes other organs remain outside the belly in a sac.

Since some or all of the belly organs are outside of the body, they may be injured and the belly does not grow to its normal size. The belly may be too small to hold all of the organs.

At birth, your baby’s belly will look like there is a clear sac filled with liquid. You may be able to see the bowel or other organs. Your baby’s umbilical cord will be on top of the sac.

Incidence of Omphalocele

  • It happens about 1 in 5,000 births.
  • Some babies with omphalocele can have other problems with their heart, spine, or digestive organs.
  • If your baby has additional problems, you may be more likely to have another baby with an omphalocele.
  • If your baby has no other major problems, the chance for you to have another baby with an omphalocele is 1 percent (one in 100).