Plastic surgery patients will benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) regardless of whether their surgery is reconstructive or cosmetic. HBOT offers specific benefits for plastic surgery patients that will aid in the recovery process. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments before and after surgery can shorten recovery time, allowing you to get back to normal life sooner than without HBOT.
Challenges That Plastic Surgery Patients Face
Plastic surgery patients face the usual post-operative recovery challenges that follow regular surgery, but they are also vulnerable to some specific after-effects related to plastic surgery. Here are the most common post-operative challenges faced by plastic surgery patients and how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help.
One of the most common after-effects of all surgery is pain. After plastic surgery, this is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and headaches. The area around where the surgery was performed will also be inflamed, swollen, and painful after the procedure.
HBOT can greatly reduce post-operative discomfort in the following ways:
- HBOT is used successfully to reduce inflammation and promote wound healing by increasing oxygen delivery to the recovering tissues. Oxygen delivery using HBOT is nearly 20 times more than what can be delivered to the cells through regular breathing.
- HBOT also reduces edema, which is the swelling of the tissues due to excess liquid.
- As the inflammation and swelling reduce and the wound begins to heal, the amount of pain experienced by the patient will decrease.
Scarring or Skin Breakdown
One of the possible unique complications following plastic surgery is obvious scarring or skin breakdown that occurs when healing skin separates from healthy skin.
Treatment with HBOT can aid in avoiding this in three ways:
- HBOT promotes the production of collagen. Collagen is essential for body tissue repairs and can aid the wound healing process.
- HBOT helps the body form new blood vessels from the old ones. This process aids quicker healing and recovery.
- HBOT causes nitric oxide to be released. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that relaxes the muscles of blood vessels and increases blood flow. Increased blood flow brings extra nutrients to the wound site, enhancing healing.
All surgery comes with the risk of post-operative infection and could possibly develop into cellulitis. Infection after plastic surgery is to be avoided especially as it may worsen scarring which could lead to further corrective surgery and the need for antibiotics.
HBOT is used successfully for infection control and can reduce the risk of infection significantly. Due to the high levels of oxygen introduced at the cellular level, HBOT has an antibiotic effect as well.
High Risk For Complications? HBOT Therapy Can Help
Patients run a higher risk of experiencing complications from plastic surgery if they are smokers or have poor eating habits. Those with skin damaged from radiation therapy or connective-tissue damage are also at risk. Patients with compromised immune systems are also more vulnerable to complications.
While all plastic surgery candidates will benefit from HBOT, it is especially important for high-risk patients to be treated. HBOT before and after surgery can reduce their chance of experiencing complications.
How Many HBOT Sessions Are Helpful For Plastic Surgery?
One hyperbaric session before, followed by five to ten treatments after surgery is recommended. Pre-treatment will ensure that there is sufficient oxygen available in the cells to begin healing from surgery immediately. Follow up hyperbaric sessions will ensure a continual provision of pure oxygen to the cells at the wound site to aid with recovery.
Plastic Surgery Candidates
If you are scheduled for plastic surgery and would like to do what you can to help your body heal quicker with less bruising, swelling, and pain, contact us at RegenQuest. A member of our team will get back to you to answer all your questions and guide you through the process.