Several steps in embryonic and fetal development play a role in the closure and integrity of the body wall. These include infolding of the embryonic plate; somite formation and evolution; migration and coalescence of the thoracic myotomes; development and involution of the body stalk vessels and ducts; eventration into the umbilical stalk, rotation and return of the gut; gonadal migration; and urinary bladder formation.
Missteps in the developmental stages lead to body wall defects. These include neonatal conditions such as omphalocele, gastroschisis, prune belly, intestinal intussusception (eversion) at the umbilicus, hydrocele, as well as diastasis recti, epigastric hernia, umbilical hernia, inguinal hernia and hydrocele appearing later in life.
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