Gastroschisis is traditionally managed by primary closure (PC) or delayed closure after surgical silo placement. Bedside insertion of preformed silos (PFS) and delayed closure has become more widespread, although its benefits remain unclear. To identify differences in outcome of infants managed with PFS compared with traditional closure (TC) techniques. Single-centre retrospective review of 53 consecutive neonates admitted between February 2000 and January 2006. Data expressed as median (range). Non-parametric statistical analysis used with P < 0.05 regarded as significant. Forty infants underwent TC and 13 had PFS and delayed closure. Median ventilation time in both groups was 4 days (P = 0.19) however this was achieved with higher mean airway pressures (MAPs) (day 0, 10 (5–16) versus 8 (5–10) cmH2O; P = 0.02) and inspired oxygen (40 (21–100) versus 30 (21–60)%; P = 0.03) in TC group. Urine output on day-1 of life was significantly higher in PFS group (1.1 (0.16–3.07) versus 0.45 (0–2.8) ml/kg/h; P = 0.02). Inotrope support was required in 17/40 (43%) of TC versus 0/13 (0%) in PFS (P < 0.01). After exclusion of infants with short bowel syndrome and/or intestinal atresia (n = 9), there was a shorter time to full enteral feeds in the TC group (22 (12–36) versus 27 (17–45); P = 0.07), although there was no difference in the period of parenteral nutrition (PN) (P = 0.1) or overall hospital stay (P = 0.34). No deaths or episodes of necrotizing enterocolitis occurred. The use of PFS for gastroschisis closure is associated with a reduction in pulmonary barotrauma, better tissue perfusion and improved early renal function, consistent with a reduction in abdominal compartment syndrome.