At Hyper Healing we specialize in wound care with a focus on hyperbaric medicine practices. The combination of the services we offer with the care of referring physicians allows for a more effective healing treatment for our patients. To help educate and inform, we are taking some time to focus on each of the common chronic wound conditions that can benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This month we are spotlighting soft tissue radionecrosis, a condition caused by radiation exposure. In this blog, we aim to explain how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can benefit soft tissue radionecrosis.
What is Soft Tissue Radionecrosis
Soft tissue radionecrosis occurs when radiation exposure kills soft tissues and inhibits normal regeneration. This condition most commonly occurs following radiation therapy for cancer patients. This form of radiation injury reduces the density of small blood vessels and replaces the normal tissues with more dense, fibrous tissues. Wounds with these dense tissues make it difficult for them to heal.
How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Can Benefit Soft Tissue Radionecrosis
Conventional therapies, such as surgery, tend to not be as effective when it comes to soft tissue radionecrosis. This is due to the dense tissue lacking the nutrients and oxygen levels that is required by the healing process. Surgical intervention may promote further damage and tissue breakdown because tissues that have been damaged by radiation are also more prone to infection following surgery.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the most beneficial treatments for soft tissue radionecrosis because it improves the oxygenation in the tissues to promote healing. Over the course of the treatments, hyperbaric oxygen therapy also stimulated the production of new capillary beds and granulation tissue that have a stronger blood supply which also contributes to creating more elastic and less fibrous tissues.
In general, hyperbaric oxygen therapy generates an approximately 80% response rate in patients with soft tissue radionecrosis. While the tissues will never recover to fully normal tissue, this form of therapy is the only treatment shown to increase the number of blood vessels in the radiology-affected tissue.
The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Process
Each hyperbaric chamber uses oxygen at a higher level than the atmospheric pressure to deliver a higher level of oxygen to the body’s tissues. When a patient is inside the chamber, they lay on a specialized bed as the atmospheric pressure increases, and when the session is over the chamber slowly depressurizes. Each session typically lasts from 90 minutes to 2 hours, and while inside the patient can watch a movie, listen to music, or just choose to relax. Depending on your condition, up to 60 sessions can be prescribed.
At Hyper Healing, our wound care and hyperbaric medicine clinics offer new advanced therapies and progressive procedures to work in conjunction with the care from our referring providers to heal patients faster and more completely. We believe that healing chronic wounds requires a multi-dimensional approach. If you have questions schedule an appointment by contacting us or by calling us at 813-591-4570.