Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Osteoradionecrosis Patients

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.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

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
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.

Find A Wound Care Center Near You

If you or a loved one might be a good canidate for HBOT, the first step is to find a healing center near you.
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