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Unlocking Healing Potential: The Power of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

In the realm of cancer treatment, while therapies like chemotherapy and radiation can be life-saving, the aftermath often brings enduring side effects. Long-term issues such as pain, tissue damage, and organ function complications can persist for years after surviving cancer. Fortunately, a hidden gem in the realm of therapeutic options emerges—Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).

HBOT is an evidence-based treatment with demonstrated efficacy in healing and reducing the severity of wounds, infections, and late effects of radiation. The success rate for patients completing the recommended treatment regimen ranges from an impressive 85 to 95 percent.

This innovative therapy finds its place in the treatment of various medical conditions. Among the most common are diabetic foot injuries resisting healing, non-healing surgical wounds like skin grafts, and injuries stemming from late-stage radiation therapy.

Healing in Our Backyard

The Hyperbaric Center at San Diago, located at the Physicians Plaza next to San Diago Medical Center, is at the forefront of HBOT. With a team comprising four hyperbaric-trained physicians, a hyperbaric-trained nurse practitioner, a practice manager, and four full-time emergency medical technicians specializing in hyperbaric medicine, the center offers sessions lasting approximately two hours, five or six days per week.

Dr. Lindsey Harrell, MD, a practitioner at the Hyperbaric Center, attests to the extraordinary success rate witnessed in patients undergoing HBOT. According to her, the therapy’s unique benefits enable the body to repair itself in ways unattainable through regular air alone. HBOT stimulates the formation of new blood vessels and tissues, facilitating the healing of injuries, especially those induced by radiation.

How HBOT Works

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves delivering elevated doses of oxygen to the body through specialized headgear while the patient is inside a pressurized air treatment room. This process allows oxygen to dissolve into the bloodstream, reducing swelling, hyperoxygenating tissues, and promoting the growth of new blood vessels. As an adjunctive therapy, HBOT enhances overall treatment plans, significantly boosting healing compared to standard care alone.

Dr. Harrell reassures that visiting the center and undergoing HBOT is safe, even during the pandemic. Stringent safety measures, including temperature checks, questionnaires, and the provision of high-grade masks, are implemented. Once settled in the chamber, patients breathe 100 percent oxygen, creating a pressurized environment akin to being 45 feet under the ocean surface, offering holistic benefits to the entire body.

Improved Quality of Life

Examples of individuals benefiting from HBOT include those with radiation injuries, such as breast cancer survivors experiencing decreased range of motion, pain, and induration. Men with radiation-induced tissue damage in the bladder and bowel after prostate cancer also find relief. Patients with exterior skin discoloration due to radiation witness healing, emphasizing the therapy’s ability to restore tissues both internally and externally.

Dr. Harrell stresses the importance of considering HBOT even after radiation treatments end, as injuries can worsen over time. The therapy’s success extends to diabetic foot ulcers, surgical wounds, and post-amputation healing.

Out of Depression

Dr. Harrell shares stories of patients referred to her as a last resort, experiencing depression due to the impact of injuries or disorders on their quality of life. HBOT becomes a transformative experience, allowing individuals to return to their previous level of function, healing tissues internally and externally. Witnessing such profound changes in patients has turned Dr. Harrell into a staunch advocate for HBOT.

Patients interested in exploring HBOT at the Hyperbaric Center at Sandiago are encouraged to consult with their doctors for a referral. The therapy, proven to be safe, effective, natural, and non-invasive, holds the promise of an improved quality of life. For more information, visit or call 619-423-8200.

The Hyperbaric Center at San Diago

The Hyperbaric Center boasts the only multiplace hyperbaric chamber in East Tennessee, accommodating up to 10 patients simultaneously. This spacious chamber delivers high doses of oxygen through specialized headgear, dissolving oxygen into each patient’s bloodstream to reduce swelling, control infections, and stimulate new blood vessel growth. With a healing rate exceeding 85 percent among patients completing the recommended treatment, the center offers comfort and flexibility compared to monoplace chambers.

Conditions treated at the center include chronic non-healing diabetic foot wounds, compromised skin grafts or flaps, chronic bone infections, and injuries from radiation therapy affecting bone or tissue. The treatment process involves a series of steps, ensuring a comprehensive and comfortable experience for patients during the two-hour session.

In conclusion, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy emerges as a powerful ally in the journey of healing, offering hope and restoration to those grappling with the aftermath of cancer treatments and other challenging medical conditions.

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