Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the most common conditions affecting premature babies (babies who are born too early). It is unclear exactly what causes necrotising enterocolitis, but it is thought to be a combination of infection and inflammation in the baby's intestines. Babies with necrotising enterocolitis can get very ill very quickly, and about a quarter of them will require an operation. There are many different operations that are performed for children with necrotising enterocolitis, but they usually involve removing affected sections of the babies intestines and/or creating a stoma (a stoma is where the babies intestines are brought out onto the tummy wall, and they poo into a bag on their tummy, rather than through their bottom). Babies with necrotising enterocolitis will often spend a long time on the neonatal intensive care unit, and many will have other problems that affect premature babies, including problems with the lungs and eyes.
More information about necrotising enterocolitis can be found on the websites below: