Hyperbaric oxygen therapy after radiation

How hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help with radiation injuries
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy after radiation

Learn how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help in treating wounds after radiation therapy.

Hyperbaric chamber for radiation damage

What are soft tissue radiation injuries (STRIs)?

Radiation therapy is an important cancer treatment option that about half of all cancer patients receive. That’s because radiation therapy contributes towards 40% of cancer survival. Unfortunately, soft tissue radiation injuries, also known as radiation dermatitis, are delayed long-term side effects of the therapy. 

In short, the radiation that is used to destroy cancer cells also kills normal cells in the surrounding tissues and nearby blood vessels.

Dr Susannah Sherlock

Tissues that have been exposed to radiation have a a reduced or narrowed blood supply. Any wound in this area will be very difficult to heal because of that. 

Dr Susannah Sherlock
Medical Director at Wesley Hyperbaric

Many cancer patients experience soft tissue radiation injuries, sometimes months or years after the initial treatment. Research has shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the most effective treatment options for soft tissue radiation injuries.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for delayed radiation injury

Check out the blog!

Hyperbaric chamber for radiation damage Brisbane

Treating soft tissue radiation injuries with hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT has been used for many years, including treating radiation wounds.  

The main benefit of HBOT is that it speeds up healing by breathing in pure oxygen at air pressure levels that are 2 to 2.8 times higher than in your normal, daily life. 

Dr Susannah Sherlock
Medical Director at Wesley Hyperbaric
Dr Susannah Sherlock

The extra oxygen in your body supports new blood vessel formation, and improves natural infection control. 

The beneficial effects of hyperbaric oxygen in radiation-damaged tissues are:

  • Hyperbaric oxygen stimulates the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and improves tissue oxygenation,
  • Hyperbaric oxygen reduces thickening or scarring of the tissue (fibrosis),
  • Hyperbaric oxygen mobilises and induces an increase of stem cells within irradiated tissues that grow new blood vessels into poorly supplied tissue.

HBOT can help in many areas, not just radiation injury. Check our overview page and find out how HBOT can improve your quality of life and overall health.

Is hyperbaric oxygen therapy after radiation covered?

Am I eligible for HBOT?

Medicare covers delayed radiation injuries to soft tissue and bone. For more information, please check our Insurance page

If you or a loved one, would like to know more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, please speak to your GP and find out if you are eligible. Once you have a GP referral, you are welcome to make a booking with one of our Wesley Hyperbaric doctors or nurses.

Your journey starts with these 3 steps

Step 1
Once you have your referral from your GP or specialist, contact our Brisbane clinic to book a consultation with one of our doctors.
Step 2
If you are eligible for HBOT, your treatment plan is scheduled and your HBOT journey can start.
Step 3

When you have completed your hyperbaric sessions, your condition is reassessed by one of our doctors.