We had the pleasure of taking care of a 56-year-old male who sought our assistance managing injuries sustained in a severe accident that led to a fire. The accident caused full-thickness burns on his entire lower legs, from his knees down to his ankle.
These injuries required seven surgeries under general anesthesia over a span of more than one month. During that period, he underwent procedures that included multiple skin grafts and debridement procedures. The process of healing the burns took four months, and during this period, daily wound care and bandages were required.
Since the accident, the patient reported intense lower extremity (LE) burning, diagnosed as cutaneous neuropathy. To manage the pain and neuropathy, he was prescribed pain and nerve medications. Additionally, since the accident he noticed memory issues, brain fog, and forgetfulness.
During the recovery, he was advised to explore Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for his post-injury symptoms. The patient began treatment at our facility and received 60 HBOT sessions. After 40 sessions of therapy, he observed a complete elimination in pain in his legs, alleviation of neuropathy, and the resolution of brain fog and memory issues
Patient Age: 56
Presentation: Patient presented with full thickness circumferential burns to bilateral lower extremities, bilateral lower extremity neuropathy and brain fog.
Health History: Diagnosis of cutaneous neuropathy after a burn accident. 7 surgeries under general anesthesia, including multiple skin grafts and debridement surgeries. Post anesthesia side effects of brain fog and memory issues. Patient was prescribed neurologic medication to manage pain and neuropathy symptoms.
Personalized Treatment Protocol: Initially, the patient was recommended to receive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 5 days a week for a total of 40 sessions at 2.0 ATA. He noted much improvement at 40 sessions and continued on for a total of 60 treatments.
Patient Outcome: Elimination of pain and neuropathy symptoms. Patient was able to stop taking his nerve pain medication. Patients brain fog and cognitive issues resolved.
Words from the Patient
"I am fully convinced that the hyperbaric sessions paid off. Neuropathy gone. Brain is back to normal, and I am fully back to work. I saw my surgeon in March, he was blown away by the cosmetic appearance of my once crispy legs. They not only look good, they work perfectly. I finished the NYC marathon in 4:09, only 5 min slower than when I last ran it at age 34 (I'm 58 now). THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!"
Before & After Photos
See the improvement in the patients burns before and after HBOT.
Notes from the Clinical Staff
Post-Anesthesia Side Effects
Post-anesthesia side effects can vary from person to person, and while brain fog is not uncommon, it is important to note that it is just one potential side effect amongst many. After surgery and anesthesia administration, individuals may experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and confusion.
Brain fog, characterized by difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly, can be a manifestation of the anesthesia's lingering effects. The onset of these side effects varies, with some individuals experiencing them immediately upon waking from anesthesia, while others may notice them in the hours following surgery. In most cases, these side effects are temporary and tend to dissipate as the anesthesia wears off and the body readjusts. However, some individuals experience longer-lasting symptoms, which is what occurred in this case.
HBOT for Brain Fog
Brain fog is a non-medical term that people often use to describe a feeling of mental confusion, lack of clarity, or difficulty focusing. Symptoms of brain fog may include forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and mental fatigue.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. While there is limited scientific evidence to supporting the use of HBOT for treating brain fog specifically, it is suggested that increased oxygen levels in the body may have potential benefits for cognitive function. We see this result from HBOT when treating patients with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Long COVID and more.
The idea behind using HBOT for brain fog is that the increased oxygen levels may improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, potentially enhancing cognitive function.
We have featured quite a few other case studies that showcase an improvement in brain fog:
- Case Study: Young Male Overcomes Traumatic Brain Injuries from Sports
- Case Study: College Athlete Recovers from Post-Concussion Symptoms
- Case Study: Patient Overcomes Severe COVID-19 Plus Osteomyelitis and Non-Healing Wound with HBOT
HBOT for Burns
A thermal burn is an injury caused by fire or heat. Damage to the skin and sometimes the mouth, throat, and lungs often worsens in the days after the incident. Thermal burn injuries are prone to infection, inflammation, and swelling. Surgical removal of dead tissue and skin grafting may be required to promote healing.
HBOT benefits patients with thermal burns in the following ways:
- Helps fight infection
- Reduces pain
- More oxygen speeds up cell repair and recovery
- Promotes stem cell mobilization
- Reduces inflammation and swelling
The Benefit of HBOT Post Surgery
All surgeries, even those performed to cure or improve medical conditions, result in wounds that the body will need to heal. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) optimizes the oxygenation (and thus the healing potential) of tissue prior to surgery and accelerates wound healing post operatively.
Although there are many additional examples, pre and post surgical HBOT can improve recovery from orthopedic procedures or injuries such as an ACL tear, decrease bruising and swelling post plastic surgery, and improve tissue healing after cancer surgeries.
HBOT is especially effective in complex surgical cases where where there is a high risk of wound healing complications.
HBOT aids in surgery preparation and accelerated recovery in the following ways:
- Reduces edema/inflammation
- Enhances oxygen availability to injured tissue
- Promotes fibroblast proliferation/collagen synthesis, decreasing fibrosis
- Enhances antibiotic efficacy
- Reduces incidence of infection due to the enhancement of leukocyte oxidative killing
- Increases tensile strength of healed tissue
- Increases angiogenesis
Written by Hyperbaric Medical Solutions
Hyperbaric Medical Solutions is a free-standing, independent medical practice, providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT is an advanced healing therapy that treats conditions that benefit from increased oxygen concentration and absorption in the body....Read More