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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Osteoradionecrosis

What is Osteoradionecrosis (ORN)?
Osteoradionecrosis is a wound healing defect caused by high dosage radiation treatments.

ORN occurs when high doses of radiation cause damage to soft tissue and bone. The radiation that is used to kill cancer cells also destroys the normal cells in the surrounding tissue. Cells that form the blood vessels are also affected. This means that tissues that have been exposed to radiation have a very poor blood supply. Any wound created in this area will be unable to heal due to this poor blood supply. The most common contributing factors for ORN are tooth extraction damage or radiated bone.

How will Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) help me?

Hyperbaric oxygen will help your body rebuild blood vessels. This process is called angiogenesis. Angiogenesis can be stimulated through large doses of oxygen. To receive a dose large enough to produce angiogenesis, oxygen must be given under pressure. This pressure is measured in absolute atmospheres or ATA. The amount of pressure that you will receive during hyperbaric treatment is 2.0–2.4 ATA the equivalent of diving underneath 33–45 feet of seawater.

How many treatments will I need?

If you have exposed bone or an open wound you can expect:
  • 30 pre-surgery treatments at
  • 2.4 ATA for 90 minutes
  • Surgery
  • 10 post-surgery treatments at
  • 2.4 ATA for 90 minutes
If you are expecting to have surgery or dental work done, you can expect:
  • 20 pre-surgery treatments at
  • 2.4 ATA for 90 minutes
  • Surgery
  • 10 post-operative treatments at
  • 2.4 ATA for 90 minutes
**Your doctor may modify your treatment schedule at any time.

How Can You Help?

  • Exercise as directed.
  • Elevate your legs higher than your heart several times a day for 20 minute intervals or use your compression device as instructed.
  • Wear your support stockings all day, every day.
  • Eat a well balanced diet.
  • Maintain a normal range weight.
  • Avoid prolonged standing and sitting; walk around for a few minutes every hour.
  • Do not remove your compression wrap.
Call the Wound Healing Center if you experience any of the following:
  • Increased pain at the wound site
  • Redness or swelling around the wound or spreading away from the wound
  • A foul odor coming from the wound
  • Changes in color or amount of drainage from the wound
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • If you have a compression wrap, tingling in your toes or increased pain in your leg


The Dos and Don’ts Before Your Hyperbaric Treatment:

DO:

  • Shower before coming for treatment.
  • Clean any grease or dirt from under your fingernails.
  • Remove all jewelry and watches.
  • Remove hearing aids.

Don’t:

  • Apply lotions, hair care products, cologne, make-up, perfume or lip balm.
  • Take any petroleum or alcohol products into the hyperbaric chambers.
  • Take any lighters, matches, jewelry or electronic equipment (including watches and hearing aids) into the chamber.

It is extremely important to quit smoking while you are receiving hyperbaric treatments. Smoking inhibits the healing process and reduces the effectiveness of the hyperbaric treatments. 
 

>> Click here for the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Osteoradionecrosis brochure.

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Touro Infirmary, 1401 Foucher Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
Phone: 504-897-7011 Pencil
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