Doctors perform millions of major and minor surgeries yearly. Over the years, surgery has evolved to take less time and smaller incisions. But what do all procedures have in common? Operations require a recovery period. Patients undergoing major and minor surgery may need extra help to heal faster and better. Many patients are turning to wound care clinics that use techniques like hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT. With HBOT, patients can improve the quality and speed of surgical wound healing.
The stages of healing
Before understanding why HBOT is a no-brainer, patients must first understand how surgical wounds heal. In the days after surgery, the body starts to create new blood vessels at the surgical site. These new blood vessels provide oxygen and nutrients for new tissue growth. White blood cells fight bacteria and infections. Over time, the body generates new tissue and skin cells. Some traumatic surgical wounds heal slowly and need a boost of oxygen. That’s where HBOT comes in.
The purest air imaginable
Hyperbaric therapy is the use of pure oxygen to accelerate the body’s ability to heal. Humans only use about 20% of pure oxygen for breathing and healthy function. With HBOT, patients get 100% oxygen under atmospheric pressure. HBOT uses a pressurized chamber or room over several short sessions. As a result, blood cells receive oxygen at several times the normal rate. The treatment has since been used for significant wounds like crush injuries, diabetic wounds, radiation burns, and gas gangrene.
What HBOT means for your wound
The more oxygen present in the blood, the faster the surgical wound can heal. HBOT sessions decrease swelling and inflammation. The rush of pure oxygen also promotes the growth of new blood vessels. This also increases the body’s ability to combat infection. While the research on HBOT for surgical wounds is limited, initial studies are promising.
Science backs HBOT
Researchers compared the oxygen in damaged muscle before and after getting several hours of HBOT. The concentration of oxygen at the injury increased 10 times after just 60 minutes of therapy. Injuries left to heal without therapy took 30 hours to return to normal oxygen levels. HBOT restored normal oxygen levels in a fraction of the time. Separate trials comparing skin grafts undergoing HBOT were also positive. Results found faster healing and a higher success rate with HBOT.
Try hyperbaric therapy today
There are a lot of factors affecting a surgical procedure. Some surgical wounds can cause complications or disturb the quality of life with slow healing. Using a proven technique like HBOT, patients can recover faster. Speak with a doctor or wound care specialist about integrating HBOT into recovery.