Merck Manual

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Some Birth Defects

Some Birth Defects

Organ System

Birth Defect

What Happens

Treatment

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Underdevelopment of the left ventricle, leading to inability to pump blood to the body

Separate operations to rebuild the left ventricle or a heart transplant

A hole in, or weakening of, abdominal muscles, allowing internal abdominal organs to spill out (protrude) through the defect

Surgery to close the defect

The foot and ankle are twisted out of shape or position

Immobilization with a cast and physical therapy to stretch the foot and ankle

Sometimes surgery

Porencephaly

Brain tissue missing and replaced with fluid-filled sacs

No treatment available

Ventricular shunt may decrease pressure

Hydranencephaly

Severe porencephaly with little remaining brain tissue

No treatment available

A testis (testicle) remains in the abdomen or groin instead of descending into the scrotum before birth

About half will descend into the scrotum without treatment by 4 to 6 months

Surgery to move the testis into place