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Radiation Damage

Radiation Damage


Radiation injury is damage to soft tissue and bone following radiation therapy. 

There are early and late effects of radiation that are caused by ischemia, interruption of the blood supply and direct cell damage, which are sensitive to radiation.

Clinical applications of Hyperbaric Oxygen:

  • Helps in faster wound healing by formation of new microvasculature (angiogenesis)
  • Provides and prepares a better healthy tissue for skin grafts and dental implants if needed
  • Improves bone remodeling by stimulation new bone to growth (osteogenesis)
  • Prevents or arrests already existing infection
  • Prophylaxis – prevention of development delayed radiation injury

Results of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in radiation injury:

  • Hyperbaric oxygen increases tissue radio-sensitivity (enhancing the effect of radiation/chemo therapy)
  • Hyperbaric oxygen prevents delayed radiation injury (swelling, pain and wounds due to radiation)
  • Hyperbaric oxygen enhances the immune system
  • Hyperbaric oxygen promotes new vascular growth preparing conditions for skin/bone grafts and implants
  • Hyperbaric oxygen improves bone remodeling by stimulation of new bone growth and removal of necrotic bone
  • Hyperbaric oxygen prevents or arrests already existing infection
  • Improves oxygenation of all body organs

Treatment protocol:
Hyperbaric oxygen sessions are 90 minutes long at 2.4 ATA of pressure of pure oxygen. Number of sessions needed depend on the seriousness of the condition and response to the therapy, which can be assessed with measurements of microcirculation. At BaroMedical, the screening of the clients and the progress of the therapy are monitored with most advanced equipment: Laser Doppler blood flow, tissue oxygen monitor and digital camera.

Late effects of radiation that occur weeks and years later can be avoided with timely hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Soft tissue radiation injury:

  • Skin – skin damage (atrophy) and non-healing wounds
  • Genitourinary problems – radiation cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), proctitis (inflamma-tion of the rectum and anus) resulting in fistulas, abscesses, fibrosis and scar formation
  • Larynx – swelling, pain, difficulty swallowing and hoarseness

Bone radiation injury:

  • Bone cell destruction (osteoradionecrosis) – leading to spontaneous fractures, infections and delayed healing

Eye radiation injury:

  • Radiation-induced optic neuropathy – loss of vision


Further reading:

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7850 Sixth Street - Burnaby V3N 3N3 - British Columbia - Vancouver - CANADA - Ph: 604-777-7055

 Information contained on this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education. It should not be used as a substitute for any medical professional opinion, advice or prescribed medication nor should it serve as diagnosis or treatment of health problems.