Abdominal Wall Defect 

Incomplete development of the skin and muscles of the belly, allowing internal organs to protrude into the umbilical cord (omphalocele) or elsewhere (gastroschisis).

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

An atrial septal defect is a hole (defect) in the wall (septum) that separates the two upper chambers of the heart, called atria. This hole between the heart chambers disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the body.

Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS)
An overgrowth disorder present at birth characterized by an increases risk of childhood cancer and certain features. Five common features used to define BWS are: macroglossia (large tongue), macrosomia (birth weight and length >90th percentile), midline abdominal wall defects (omphalocele, umbilical hernia, diastasis recti), ear creases or ear pits, and neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar after birth).

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

A measurement of size, number, and maturity of different blood cells in a specific volume of blood.

Diaphragmatic Hernia

Incompletely formed diaphragm (muscular sheet dividing the chest and abdomen) allows the stomach, liver and other abdominal organs to move into the chest. This crowds the developing lungs, which may be too small to support breathing after birth, even if the diaphragm is surgically repaired.

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)

A test that records the electrical activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias), and detects heart muscle damage.

Enteral nutrition

A way to provide food through a tube placed in the nose, the stomach, or the small intestine. A tube in the nose is called a nasogastric tube or nasoenteral tube. A tube that goes through the skin into the stomach is called a gastrostomy or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). A tube into the small intestine is called a jejunostomy or percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ) tube.

Enteral nutrition is often called tube feeding.

Fetal Echocardiogram

A specialized ultrasound that examines fetal heart structure and function.

Folic Acid

B vitamin found in green leafy vegetables and dried beans as well as in fortified cereal and flour. When taken around the time of conception and in early pregnancy, folic acid is associated with lower risk for neural tube defects, oral clefts, limb and heart defects.


A surgical method for treating gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD causes inflammation, pain (heartburn), and other serious complications (such as scarring and stricture) of the esophagus. GERD results when acid refluxes (regurgitates, or backwashes) from the stomach back up into the esophagus. Under normal conditions, there is a barrier to reflux of acid. One part of this barrier is the lower-most muscle of the esophagus (called the lower esophageal sphincter). Most of the time, this muscle is contracted (constricted, or tight), which closes off the esophagus from the stomach. In patients with GERD, the sphincter does not function normally. The muscle is either weak or relaxes inappropriately. Fundoplication is a surgical technique that strengthens the barrier to acid reflux when the sphincter does not function normally.


A defect in the abdominal wall in which the fetal bowel protrudes through the opening and floats freely in the amniotic fluid.

Giant Omphalocele

A condition in which most of the fetal liver and bowel protrude through an abdominal wall defect into the end of the umbilical cord. It occurs in 1 in 10,000 births.

An opening in the abdominal muscle through which a portion of intestine or other internal organ may protrude.

Malrotation of the Intestines

Unusual configuration of intestinal (bowel) loops.

Naso-Gastric Tube (NG tube)

A soft, flexible plastic tube that is inserted through a nostril, passed through the throat and esophagus, and into the stomach. Used to administer feedings or medications. May also be used to empty the stomach of air or stomach contents.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

A special care nursery that uses advanced technology and trained health professionals to care for sick and premature newborns.


A congenital anomay in the abdominal wall in which the abdominal organs herniate (protrude) through the abdominal wall into the base of the umbilical cord.

Pyloric Stenosis

Overgrowth of the muscular connection between the stomach and intestines, blocking food passage and causing projectile vomiting a few weeks after birth.

Silastic Sheeting (“silo”)

A flexible synthetic covering used as a temporary closure for open abdominal wounds.

Staged Repair

A series of surgeries performed over time to correct a single condition.


Rapid heartbeat.


Rapid breathing.

Tetralogy of Fallot

Major defect of the heart’s chambers and blood vessels leading to and from the heart. The 4 components are: underdeveloped right heart, hole between the lower heart chambers, overriding aorta and underdeveloped pulmonary artery.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

Heart defect where a hole between the two bottom pumping heart chambers (ventricles) allows oxygenated and unoxygenated blood to mix.

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