What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Healing after Breast cancer Radiation- Hyperbaric Oxygen-What is it?

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can be such a game changer for those of us in the cancer community who have or will undergo radiation! Empower yourself by knowing your options and learning more about this highly effective intervention for skin healing!” @melinda Miller-Emotional Contributor for Learn Look Locate

“If you have undergone radiation and have had a difficult time with healing, you may be experiencing Chronic Radiation Tissue Injury (CRTI) or Soft Tissue Radionecrosis (STRN), complications characterized by skin discoloration and/or stiff, fibrotic tissue. These are classified as late effects of radiation therapy and can result in chronic non-healing wounds when surgical sites include irradiated tissues.

How does this happen? Commonly, fewer blood vessels are present within the skin after radiation. Without a robust network of blood vessels, the skin can become thin and it can become difficult to achieve both complete and lasting healing in the affected areas.

These complications are often prevalent in the breast cancer community because many reconstructive surgeries occur following radiation. At times, no length of time can bring about the skin’s ability to naturally return to baseline.

This is where HBOT comes in! HBOT is a painless therapy that involves 100% pure oxygen administered to the body in an often clear enclosure at a physician-prescribed pressure and length of time. Exposure to this pressurized oxygen helps to facilitate the reformation and regrowing of blood vessels in the irradiated areas, thereby positively impacting the skin’s quality and ability to fully heal.

If radiation is included in your treatment plan, consider discussing with your surgeon the possible complications and the respective rates for your situation. If you are assessed to be at elevated risk or if you are in the midst of navigating healing complications post-radiation, do inquire about your candidacy for HBOT and advocate for your healing needs! For more visit, the whole page dedicated to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy