Laparoschisis is a rare birth defect characterized by a hole in the abdominal wall where internal contents, including the stomach and the intestines, can extend outside of the body. The defect usually occurs near the umbilical cord. The defect can be life-threatening, since internal contents can be easily damaged outside of the body. Doctors diagnose this defect at birth and can work with pediatric surgeons to fix the defect. Doctors often suggest the infant undergo surgery to return the internal contents to their normal positions and to seal the hole in the abdominal wall. Once surgery is completed, doctors often do frequent checks on the infant to make sure the internal contents are not damaged and are developing normally.