What the Research Says
Numerous studies have documented the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for healing diabetic wounds and delayed radiation injuries.
HBOT supports healing by increasing neovascularization by angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels from endothelial cells) and vasculogenesis (recruitment and differentiation of the wound bed of circulating stem and progenitor cells). HBOT is also bacterioststic and bactericidal, improves post-ischemic tissue survival, and improves chronic osteonecrosis.
HBOT has also been shown to help heal a wide range of additional injuries that are also characterized by low oxygen and low blood flow, such as compromised flaps and grafts, osteomyelitis and burns.
When oxygen tensions are elevated, the initial effects of increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) result in:
Improved neovascularization with Increased wound growth factor synthesis∘ SPCs mobilization from bone marrow Improved post-ischemic tissue survival - Neutrophil B-actin s-nitrosylation Lower monocyte chemokine synthesis Ischemic preconditioning changes HO-1, HSPs, HIF-1 Ischemic preconditioning changes HO-1, HSPs, HIF-1
We have worked with hundreds of physician-refered patients with non-healing wounds that are a result of diabetes or delayed radiation injury.
Most insurance companies, as well as Medicare, typically cover the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for damage or non-healing wounds following radiation therapy. HBOT stimulates angiogenesis in hypoxic tissues, correcting the ischemia. New, healthy blood vessels supplying blood and oxygen to damaged tissues improves flap and graft salvage.
Often the wounds that cause pain, tightness, tenderness and burning after breast cancer radiation treatments resolve on their own in a few months. However, those that do not resolve are most often responsive to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Over the last 20 years, we have observed HBOT helping patients with a variety of non-healing wounds on the breast, ribs and chest wall. We have seen resolved infections, resolved pain and skin returned to its’ normal color. We have also seen shoulder and elbow pain reduced or eliminated by resolving lyphedema and salvaged flaps.