Dean's story of healing at r3 wound care and hyperbarics

Dean's Story

Dean had been through a lot. After his cancer treatment, he developed osteoradionecrosis (ORN), a condition where bone tissue dies due to radiation. His jawbone was exposed, causing him severe pain and swelling, and infections were a constant threat. Dean was desperate for relief and a path to healing.

That’s when he came to R3 Wound Care and learned about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). We explained to Dean how HBOT could help his condition and shared the benefits of treatment, including how it stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. These new vessels would improve blood flow to his damaged jawbone, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to help it heal.

Radiation had left Dean’s tissues with very low oxygen levels, making it hard for his body to repair itself. HBOT could solve this problem by delivering oxygen directly to his tissues, bypassing the damaged blood vessels, and improving tissue oxygenation.

Dean also learned that HBOT has anti-inflammatory effects, which would help reduce the swelling and pain he was experiencing. Plus, it boosts the function of white blood cells, the body’s main defense against infection, helping to keep infections at bay.

Feeling hopeful, Dean decided to start the treatment. During his treatments, he would relax in the chamber, knowing that he was breathing in pure oxygen that was working wonders inside his body. After these initial sessions, Dean saw his oral surgeon, who checked his progress and decided that surgery to remove some of the dead bone tissue was necessary.

After the surgery, Dean returned for more sessions to ensure his jawbone healed completely. Each session brought him closer to recovery, reducing his pain, swelling, and infection risk.

Dean’s jawbone began to heal thanks to the comprehensive care at R3 Wound Care and HBOT’s incredible benefits.

He was finally able to find relief and start living his life again without the constant pain and worry. Dean’s journey with R3 Wound Care was a testament to the healing power of oxygen and the dedicated care of our team.

What is Osteoradionecrosis?

Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) occurs when bone tissue dies due to radiation therapy, commonly used to treat cancers in the head and neck region. This condition can lead to exposed bone, causing pain, swelling, and infections. It is a rare but serious complication, with the head and neck area being particularly susceptible due to its complex structure and the impact of radiation on blood supply to the bones. Advances in radiation techniques and better care have reduced the incidence of ORN, but it remains a significant concern for patients undergoing radiation treatment for head and neck cancers. High doses of radiation, repeated treatments, and compromised blood supply are typical causes.  Treating ORN involves several strategies focused on managing pain, controlling infections, and removing dead bone tissue.

healing story of Osteoradionecrosis

Pain management often includes medications like NSAIDs or opioids. Infection control is crucial, with antibiotics or antifungal medications used to treat or prevent infections. Surgical debridement may be necessary to remove dead bone tissue, promoting healing and reducing complications. In severe cases with significant tissue loss, flap reconstruction surgery might be needed. Supportive care, including proper oral hygiene, good nutrition, and quitting smoking, is also essential in managing ORN and aiding recovery. Prevention strategies emphasize dental care and minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissue as much as possible.

How HBOT provides a solution or benefits specific to this condition

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is believed to provide a better solution for osteoradionecrosis (ORN) through several mechanisms:

  1. Increased oxygen delivery: HBOT involves breathing 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber, which increases the amount of oxygen dissolved in the bloodstream. This elevated oxygen concentration enhances oxygen delivery to tissues, including the affected bone, promoting healing and tissue regeneration.
  2. Angiogenesis: HBOT has been shown to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) in damaged tissues. By improving blood flow to the affected area, HBOT can enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients necessary for tissue repair.
  3. Reduction of tissue hypoxia: Radiation therapy can cause tissue hypoxia (low oxygen levels), which impairs the body’s ability to heal. HBOT counteracts this by providing oxygen directly to the tissues, bypassing the damaged blood vessels and improving tissue oxygenation.
  4. Anti-inflammatory effects: HBOT has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing inflammation in the affected tissues. This can help alleviate symptoms such as pain and swelling associated with ORN.
  5. Enhancement of white blood cell function: HBOT can boost the function of white blood cells, the body’s primary defense against infection. By enhancing immune function, HBOT may help prevent or control infection in the affected area, reducing the risk of complications.
  • The complexity of bone damage determines the total number of hyperbaric treatments. Treatments are scheduled daily, and the total number of treatments ranges from 40 to 60. Initially, you will undergo 30 treatments with HBOT. After 30 treatments, you will be evaluated by your oral surgeon to determine if surgical removal of the damaged bone is needed. After surgery, 10 or more additional HBOT treatments may be recommended.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. This process increases the oxygen level in your blood, which helps to accelerate the body’s natural healing processes. It’s particularly effective for wounds that are slow to heal due to diabetes or radiation injury. 


HBOT can also aid in fighting certain types of infections and improving conditions like stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning, and more. Essentially, by enhancing oxygen delivery to damaged tissues, HBOT fosters a better environment for recovery and healing.


It’s like a super boost of oxygen for your body. It helps your blood carry more oxygen to your body’s tissues, which can speed up healing for wounds that take their time or help with other health issues. 


Basically, it’s a very innovative way to tap into your body’s natural healing powers!

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is really versatile in treating a wide array of conditions. It’s a solution for speeding up the healing of chronic wounds, especially those tricky ones related to diabetes or injuries from radiation therapy.


Beyond wound care, HBOT helps in treating serious infections like gangrene by boosting oxygen levels to combat bacteria. It’s also effective for people dealing with the aftermath of carbon monoxide poisoning, aiding recovery from strokes, and even tackling sudden severe hearing loss. 


The therapy works wonders by increasing oxygen delivery to injured or affected areas, promoting faster and more efficient healing processes.

HBOT is generally considered safe, but like any medical treatment, it comes with some potential side effects. The most common ones are mild and might include feelings of claustrophobia in the chamber, temporary changes to your vision, and ear pressure similar to what you feel on an airplane. 


More serious side effects are rare but can include oxygen toxicity or barotrauma to the ears or lungs if not properly managed. R3 safety standards exceeds those of the

The number of HBOT sessions needed can vary widely depending on the condition being treated and how your body responds. Typically, a treatment plan might include sessions 5 days a week for a few weeks. 


Some conditions might see improvement after 20-30 sessions, while more complex issues could require more. It’s really about how your specific situation responds to the therapy. 


We invite you to schedule an appointment with an R3 care member to help review your specific situation so that we can help facilitate and aim for the best outcome for you. 

Yes, HBOT can be used alongside other treatments. It’s often part of a broader treatment plan, especially for conditions like non-healing wounds, where it complements traditional wound care, or in cases of radiation injury, where it can aid in recovery alongside other medical interventions. 


Your healthcare team will assess how HBOT can fit into your overall treatment strategy to ensure the best possible outcomes.

During your first HBOT session, you’ll relax in a chamber where the pressure is increased, allowing you to breathe in pure oxygen. It’s a calm experience, and you might feel a bit like you’re on an airplane as your ears adjust to the pressure changes. The session typically lasts about 90 minutes, during which you can rest or even sleep. 


Your R3 Care Team member will carefully monitor you throughout to ensure everything goes smoothly and to make you as comfortable as possible.

Before undergoing HBOT, you’ll likely be advised to wear comfortable, cotton clothing to the session and avoid using any petroleum-based products, as oxygen can be highly flammable. 


It’s also important to communicate with your healthcare provider about any medications or supplements you’re taking, as some might influence your treatment. 


They may also recommend not eating a heavy meal right before your session to avoid discomfort. 


Your R3 Care Team member will give you specific instructions tailored to your health and the specifics of your HBOT treatment.

The timeline for seeing results from HBOT can vary based on the condition being treated and your individual response to therapy. Some people notice improvements after a few sessions, while others may take longer. 


Chronic conditions might require more sessions to see significant changes. Your R3 Care Team member will track your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed. 


It’s important to maintain open communication with your medical team and follow their guidance throughout your HBOT journey.

Insurance coverage for HBOT treatments varies widely depending on your provider and the condition being treated. Some insurance plans cover HBOT for specific FDA-approved conditions, while others may not. 


It’s crucial to check with your insurance provider directly to understand your coverage details. Additionally, discussing with the R3 Care team can also help, as they often have experience dealing with insurance companies and can offer guidance on navigating coverage issues.

R3 Wound Care prioritizes patient safety and comfort during HBOT by adhering to strict safety protocols, using state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers, and ensuring all treatments are supervised by trained healthcare professionals. 


Your R3 Care team will provide clear instructions on what you can expect and how to prepare for each session, ensuring a comfortable and secure environment. 


The R3 Care team is committed to making each patient’s experience as smooth and reassuring as possible, addressing any concerns and monitoring patients closely throughout your treatment.

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San Antonio


Or You can request an Appointment virtually here:

Request Appointment


San Antonio


Or You can request an Appointment virtually here: