Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Osteoradionecrosis Patients
Recovering From The Late Side Effects Of Radiotherapy
Statistics show that Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) will be developed in approximately 15% of head and neck cancer patients who have been treated with radiation therapy. HBOT has emerged as an effective treatment for some patients who previously had little hope of recovering from late side effects of radiotherapy (like osteoradionecrosis).
How HBOT Works as a Treatment for Osteoradionecrosis
By exposing the patient to pure oxygen at elevated pressures above atmospheric levels, HBOT stimulates necrotic bone & soft tissue healing from the inside of the wound, outward. With patients undergoing this therapy we see:
Increased dissolved oxygen increases the amount of oxygenated plasma that is dissolved in tissue
Increased growth factor synthesis, stem cell proliferation, diminished inflammatory response and enhanced white blood cell killing of bacteria
Stimulates angiogenesis and neovascularization through multiple encounters of increased and normobaric oxygen tensions
Reduction of edema caused by infection and surgery
Normalizing oxygen tensions in tissue fluids promotes active transport of antibiotics into microorganisms
Resorption of infected bone is observed only after HBO treatments are started
HBOT is also approved by Medicare to treat patients with a variety of medical conditions, in addition to osteoradionecrosis, making it more accessible than ever.
What Are the Specific Benefits to Osteoradionecrosis Patients?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for osteoradionecrosis are proven treatments designed to:
Accelerate the wound healing process
Increase oxygenation to all tissues
Promote collagen and new skin development
Reduce swelling and discomfort
Promote new blood vessel formation
Increase capillary growth
Activate bactericidal, bacteria-killing activity
Munier M.S. Nazzal, MD, MBA, FRCS(UK), FACS, RVT, RPVI, FACC WS
University of Toledo, Medical Center
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) has become a preferred treatment for ORN. HBO normalizes oxygen levels within the tissue, therefore compensating for avascular tissue. Hyperbaric treatments should be given adjunctively with surgical debridement, culture-directed antibiotic therapy, bone grafting, and/or a soft tissue flap to provide the most optimal outcome. Hyperbaric therapy does not treat osteoradionecrosis alone; this is a team effort that should include no less than the patient’s oral maxillofacial surgeon.