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A patient came to us with an open wound of the abdomen that was a complication of an abdominoplasty surgery, also referred to as a "tummy tuck." The patient's wound was getting worse and not healing despite standard therapy. She was referred to us by her plastic surgeon for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.


Patient Age: 58

Gender: Female 

Presentation:  Patient presented with a complicated wound to the peri-umbilical incision area following her abdominoplasty surgery. The wound was a result of vascular compromise where not enough circulation was reaching the tissue which thus resulted in tissue death aka necrosis.  In order to speed healing, maintain tissue viability, and minimize the need for future reconstructive surgery, HBOT was recommended. The wound was not responding to traditional wound care and was bleeding, oozing, and extremely painful.  Because the wound was a consequence of vascular compromise, it met criteria for insurance coverage.

Health History: Current smoker with a good medical history

Personalized Treatment Protocol: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 5 days a week for a total of 40 sessions at 2.4 ATA.

Patient Outcome: Wound completely healed, no necrosis and no addition revision surgery needed.

Before & After Photos

The right side of this photo shows the patients wound at the beginning of treatment. The left side shows how it healed and closed completely.


Notes from the Clinical Staff

HBOT For Failed Skin Grafts & Flaps

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be utilized both before and after skin graft and flap surgeries. It can also be used to help patients who have undergone failed procedures to heal, or to stop the progression of some post-surgical complications that may ultimately lead to failure.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to maximize viability of compromised tissue, which can reduce the need for re-grafting or repeat flap procedures.

HBOT supplies the body with oxygen at increased atmospheric pressure. This treatment stimulates blood vessel growth, which in turn, increases circulation. Proper circulation ensures enough oxygen, blood and nutrients are being transported throughout the body.

HBOT’s ability to promote damaged tissue repair and strengthen the immune system is especially valuable to patients after surgery in cases where the skin graft or flap failed. In these cases, HBOT helps to restore tissue that has been damaged and prevent infection.

Plastic Surgery Emergency Cases

When patients are recovering from plastic or cosmetic surgeries and procedures there are always risks for delayed healing, infection and other complications. Although these complications are not common, when HBOT is given in conjunction with cosmetic surgery it is an effective way to prevent and treat them. HBOT can expedite the healing process and shorten the recovery time.  

We coordinate with many Plastic Surgeons to care for their patients in conjunction with the surgical plans. The surgeons appreciate that HBOT often reduces pain, swelling and overall inflammation in tissues, and it helps prevent injection. Often patients comment that they feel that HBOT contributed to a shorter recovery time.  

The Benefit of HBOT Pre & 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

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Hyperbaric Medical Solutions

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....

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