Dr. Andrew Jacono is Pictured in a Suit and Tie

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Wound Healing

Info About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in New York, NY

Healing from a major surgery, including plastic surgery, can often be challenging. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a specialized treatment that speeds up the healing process.

hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBO, allows for such rapid healing because wounds require oxygen to heal; the HBO chamber is filled with pressurized oxygen and is thus able to treat exposed wounds.

Research and Evidence Behind Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

More and more physicians are turning to hyperbaric oxygen therapy to enhance recovery, and several major studies support the efficacy of HBO chambers. New York plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Jacono, always looking for new ways to improve patient care and surgical outcomes, has been involved in a number of these aforementioned studies.

In addition to healing wounds faster, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been associated with lower rates of pain and infection. As a result, it has been used successfully for difficult-to-treat wounds, including: 

  • Burn injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Radiation burns
  • Soft tissue infections such as cellulitis
  • Reconstructive surgeries using skin grafts and flaps
  • Wounds related to diabetes

It has been proven that this therapy can also be used for cosmetic surgery. In a study entitled “Effect of Perioperative Hyperbaric Oxygen on Bruising in Face-lifts,” released in 2010 in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Jacono and  colleagues found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy decreases bruising by 35% at one week following facelift surgery.

How Oxygen Speeds Up Healing

Oxygen is as necessary for healing as it is for survival. The complication with surgery is that it can reduce blood flow to certain areas of the body, and accordingly make healing more difficult. Inflammation, which is very common after a surgical procedure, can also limit oxygen flow. 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is impressive in that it increases the exchange of oxygen within tissues that have undergone trauma, and also stimulates the growth and maintenance of new blood vessels.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the most useful tools at my disposal,” explains Dr. Jacono. “My patients are all very busy and are eager to return to their public lives as quickly as possible, and HBO allows for a much simpler and more stress-free recovery experience.” 

Treating the Whole Body

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is, of course, not the only innovation that Dr. Jacono offers. Because he is at the forefront of his field and regularly explores natural therapies that have been proven to improve post-operative outcomes, he often incorporates reliable and evidence-based holistic therapies into his practice. 

“Scientific studies also indicate that homeopathic remedies, like Arnica Montana, and dietary supplements like Bromelain and Hyaluronic Acid, can minimize swelling and bruising, and even speed up healing,” Dr. Jacono points out.

Are There Any Risks?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, as with any procedure, can sometimes cause a few side-effects, including:

  • Pressure wounds to ears and the nose
  • Changes in sight, including nearsightedness
  • Minor and non-life-threatening convulsions from excessive oxygen exposure
  • Decompression illness similar to that seen in scuba divers

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also exacerbate heart problems for those with severe heart disease.

The good news is that these side-effects are rare, but it is still incredibly important to choose an experienced HBO practitioner, and to be as honest as possible about your medical history before undergoing treatment. 

What to Expect from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

HBO treatment is short and can fit easily into a workday. The number of required treatments varies, and will depend on the kind of surgery you had and how your wounds are healing. 

Most people experience some fatigue or lightheadedness immediately after therapy, but these effects dissipate in a few minutes. 

Overall, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an exciting, low-risk way to speed up healing so that you can get back to your life as quickly as possible. If you think that this treatment might be right for you, call Dr. Jacono’s office for a consultation; he can be reached in his New York City location at 212-570-2500, or in his Long Island practice at 516-773-4646.

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