HBOT for Hemorrhagic Cystitis, Bleeding Bladders

HBOT for Hemorrhagic Cystitis, Bleeding Bladders

And radiation Induced Injuries to the Pelvis, Vagina, Intestines and Rectum

Radiation treatment can destroy cancer and save a patient’s life, but it also can induce secondary injuries such as burning, infections, and in rare cases severely damage the lymphatic system or even lead to paralysis. This kind of damage is known as Hemorrhagic Cystitis or bleeding bladder, and includes conditions like pelvic wounds, vaginal fissures, rectal fissures, urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence, and bleeding. Traditional medical solutions to treat this condition, such as blood transfusions or surgery, are often painful; worst of all, experts still do not have a reliable method of predicting who and when a patient will expire these symptoms, with some patients experiencing severe symptoms decades after their radiation therapy was administered.

The good news is that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a proven (study link Riberio de Oliveira et al 2015, Shilo et al 2013 and Cardinal et al 2018), natural treatment for radiation damage. At BAH we see many people with collateral radiation damage, sometimes 20 years after their radiation treatments, and have used hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat the side effects. Oxygen therapy halts the degradation and prevents worsening of the symptoms and damage such as bone loss, infections, wounds, bleeding and pain. It also heals by stimulating bone cells to reproduce rapidly, grows new tiny blood vessels which feed healthy new cells, and causes new stem cells to grow and migrate to damaged areas. Along with growing the new tiny blood vessels and lymph system it also regenerates nerve cells including those in the brain.

We encourage people with radiation damage to seek out HBOT quickly because the greater the radiation damage the harder it is to treat - sometimes the damage can be so great that it’s even impossible to treat. With that said, we are very proud to mention that Fiona St. John, the mother of the owner of Bay Area Hyperbarics (BAH), Lisa St. John, was treated successfully for radiation damage with hyperbaric oxygen decades after her radiation exposure, and you can read more of her story below (link)

Can HBOT Stimulate Cancer? Some people worry that if HBOT stimulates cell reproduction could it also do that with cancer cells too? It is a thoughtful concern so there have been many researchers and published studies by oncologists and others that show HBOT does not affect cancer cells or tumors. That means that HBOT will not stimulate cancer recurrence or growth. They wrote “the conclusion in both reviews was that HBO did not promote cancer growth, and that the use of HBO in patients with malignancies was considered safe.”Target Oncol. 2012 Dec; 7(4): 233–242.

There are some studies that show when treating head and neck radiation injuries with HBOT there can be a reduction in cancer recurrence. The hypothesis is that HBOT repairs the damaged mitochondria in some precancerous and damaged cells. This has not been studied enough for us to know if this is true.

Pre and Post Surgical Use of HBOT for Radiation Injuries HBOT is also used to strengthen the tissues and bones prior to surgery to insure that healing occurs successfully and without complications. With radiation damaged in areas such as the head and neck, 20 treatments of hyperbaric oxygen are often prescribed before surgery to regrow tissues, bones and stabilize the jaw. Then after surgery, they are prescribed 10 treatments to complete the healing and prevent complications.

At Bay Area Hyperbarics, we have treated patients for 20+ years. HBOT has helped our patients return to normal lives. They tell us it also seems to heal their fatigue from “chemo brain” and radiation so they get their energy back.

Studies on healing hemorrahgic cystitis with HBOT show a 76%- 96% partial or complete resolution of the radiation therapy side effects. (Riberio de Oliveira et al 2015, Shilo et al 2013 and Cardinal et al 2018)
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How Hyperbaric Therapy Helps
  • Reduces pain and swelling
  • Builds new blood vessels and blood supply to tissues and bones
  • Builds new collagen, skin and tissues
  • Regrows healthy bone and gums by stimulating new bone, and tissue cells to grow
  • Heals infections and supercharges antibiotics
  • Softens fibrous connective tissue, which tightens and inhibits functionality and sometimes range of motion  
  • Multiplies and mobilizes stem cells
  • It is safe, comfortable, easy and pain free

Patients’ Experiences

Ginger, 48
Recovered from radiation damage occurred 5 years after her treatment.
Ginger is a talkative, adventurous librarian who loved her dance classes. She had had radiation for her vaginal cancer. However radiation damage occurred 5 years after her treatment. The damage and pain prevented her from dancing and even wearing pants. HBOT resolved her pain, swelling and discharge. Ginger resumed her dance classes, her relations with her husband and returned full time to work wearing pants. She was such an advocate of HBOT she would talk about us and send strangers, she had talked to, over to see us even 6 years after HBOT healed her.
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John, 64-year-old patient
John, 64
Recovered from occasional painful clots due to bladder cancer.
John is a quiet guy with a nice smile who had bladder cancer and radiation therapy 12 years prior to coming in to see us. He had blood in his urine, passed occasional painful clots and had urinary frequency which kept him getting up often at night. After HBOT, the bleeding and passing clots stopped and his frequency resolved.
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Yanna, 66-year-old patient
Yanna, 66
Healed from a prior to radiation damage of her vulva.
Yanna is an prior to radiation damage of her vulva was an avid horsewoman. Short with bouncing short hair at the end of her treatments she told us that she now could ride her horse everyday and then laughed and said her husband was happy too because their sexual relations had resumed.
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John, 73-year-old patient
John, 73
Healed from bleeding bladder which even two transfusions couldn’t heal.
John, who is a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, came in after having multiple other treatments, some very painful, to stop his bladder from bleeding. Unfortunately, none of the previous treatments helped. Most patients who come to us to try hyperbaric oxygen therapy for a damaged bladder have already tried other conservative measures, which sadly have resulted in failure. In John’s case, he even had two transfusions. He also passed painful clots from time to time that resulted in his having to make several trips to the ER. He got up frequently at night to urinate and limited his social life as a result. Hyperbarics healed John’s bladder, and the bleeding stopped. He left feeling much more enthusiastic about life.
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Fiona, 62-year-old patient
Fiona, 62
Healed from radiation damage and subsequent infection in her bones and tissues of her soft palate.
Cured bone infection, regrew her bones and gums and regained energy
Fiona, a lively and proud mother of five grown children and an avid gardener, had received radiation many years prior that damaged her bone. Her damage It caused a severe infection in the bones in the roof of her mouth. She was concerned about her low energy level. HBOT, with antibiotics, cured the bone infection in her mouth, healed and regrew her bones and gums. She said she also got back some of her energy to garden. It is also wonderful that we were able to heal her too in our clinic as she is also the mother of our founder, Lisa St. John.
If you are interested in finding out more about yours specific diagnosis, give us a call. We can also discuss with you what your insurance covers and discuss your financial options.
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Lisa St John MS, Jeffrey Kaplan MD and Laura Jean RN

Lisa St John, MS, Clinic Director, Dr Jeffrey H. Kaplan, Medical Director. and Laura Jean RN, Director of Patient Care

Need to know more? Talk to our experts today.

Talk to our experts today.

Have a conversation with our experts, to see how HBOT could help you, and to schedule an appointment.

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We’re woman-owned and the longest running
independent hyperbaric clinic in the country.

We’re woman-owned and the longest running independent hyperbaric clinic in the US.

Nearing 25 Years of Experience

Our highly experienced physicians and technicians have provided almost 100,000 treatments since we opened our doors in 1998.

Pain-free. Non-invasive. Relaxing.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a painless, relaxing and non-invasive treatment. Our patients often tell us they feel relaxed and alert after their treatment.

Certified & Approved

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is approved by the American Medical Association, Medicare, the FDA, the Mayo Clinic, and insurance companies to treat a variety of conditions.

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