Skin Grafts and Compromised Flaps
A “skin graft” is the transfer of a portion of the skin without its blood supply to a wound and a “flap” consists of the skin and deeper tissues including muscle and bone which has its own blood supply or blood vessels that have been attached to the site. Following the surgical procedure where there has been decreased micorvascularization or hypoxia, hyperbaric oxygen treatments deliver a high concentration of oxygen which helps promote the development of new capillaries. The wound bed as well as the graft depends on new blood supply in order to survive as does the flap.
Radiation Necrosis is a tissue injury caused by radiation therapy for cancer. One of the complications from radiation is damage to tissue, there is loss of oxygen due to lack of blood supply. Osteoradionecrosis is when the bone has been injured also.
When only muscle and skin is injured then it is referred to as soft tissue radionecrosis, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to stimulate growth of functioning capillaries and provide a better healing environment.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has also been used to treat radiation injury to other parts of the body, such as bladder, bowels, brain and chest.
Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that is usually caused by bacteria and can be chronic or acute. It can be a result of a bacterial bloodstream infection or occur from a nearby infection due to a traumatic injury. Refractory osteomyelitis is a bone infection which has not responded to suitable treatment. Hyperbaric Oxygen increases the oxygen level in the infected area which helps promote healing in the hypoxic tissues, and is used as an adjunctive therapy with appropriate antibiotics, debridement, surgery and nutrition.