This Patient Information Sheet is to be used in discussion with your Doctor.

Radiation proctitis, (or radiation Injury to the bowel) may present years after your radiation treatment. Although rare, signs and symptoms of radiation proctitis (pain, bleeding, urgency and frequency) can present years after initial radiation therapy.
These symptoms can significantly impact on the quality of life.
The signs and symptoms of Radiation Proctitis have been treated successfully with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Soma Lent Graph Radiation Proctitis

Wesley  Hyperbaric participated in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Radiation Tissue Injury Study (HORTIS). Results of the proctitis arm, indicate on completion of initial treatment, 88.9% of the HBOT group were assessed to have either healed or had significant improvement. The graph below illustrates the improvement in SOMA LENT score as patients progressed through the study.

To examine the Late Effects Normal Tissue Task Force (LENT)-Subjective, Objective, Management, Analytic (SOMA) scales prospectively in carcinoma of the cervix treated curatively with radiotherapy (RT) using interviews and postal questionnaires and to test the sensitivity of the scales in assessing the radiation effects.

If a patient who has had previous radiation therapy presents suffering from painful and debilitating side effects of weight loss, nausea, vomiting, urgency and diarrhoea they may be suffering from radiation proctitis.Proctitis signs and symptoms may include:

  • A frequent or continuous feeling that you need to have
    a bowel movement
  • Rectal bleeding
  • The passing of mucus through your rectum
  • Rectal pain
  • Pain on the left side of your abdomen
  • A feeling of fullness in your rectum
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain with bowel movements
Normal bowel
Normal bowel
Abnormal radiated bowel injury
Abnormal radiated bowel injury

The course of treatment involves approximately 30-40 sessions in the hyperbaric chamber. This involves attending our facility Monday to Friday for 2 hours each day receiving 100% oxygen at the equivalent of 14 meters seawater.
If your patient is apprehensive or has claustrophobic tendencies please ensure that you mention this to our staff and initial treatments will be done with a personalized nurse to ease the apprehensiveness or claustrophobia.

Radiation Proctitis is covered by all Health Funds and has an MBS item number.

HISTORY – The nature of Radiation Injury
Delayed radiation complications are typically seen after a latent period of six months or more and may occasionally develop many years after the radiation exposure. Sometimes acute injuries are so severe that they never resolve and evolve to become chronic injuries indistinguishable from other delayed radiation injuries. These are termed “consequential effects” and are not characterized by a symptom-free latent period. Often, delayed injuries are precipitated by an additional tissue insult such as surgery within the radiation field. The concerns of HB0 2 enhancing growth of or precipitating recurrence of malignancy have been discussed and largely refuted.

The Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), which is a watchdog committee for hyperbaric treatments in the USA, has been treating radiation-damaged tissues for over several decades with minimal adverse effects.

To send a referral or make an inquiry contact our specialist staff at the Wesley Hyperbaric on Tel: 07 3371 6033 or Email

Download a the Radiation Proctitis Patient Information sheet PDF

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