SOMC Brings Wound-Healing Technology Close to Home

The SOMC Wound Healing Center is bringing new technology and therapies to the patients of the tri-state area, helping to reverse the injuries caused by radiation treatment and aid in the prevention of chronic wounds. Pictured with the hyperbaric oxygen chamber are (l to r) Dr. Sonja Lichtenstein, recent patient Charles Canter, and Respiratory Therapist Deanna Potter.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 64 percent of adults who are newly diagnosed with cancer will still be living in five years. Yet many patients who undergo radiation treatment may discover hidden complications years after beating the disease.

The Wound Healing Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center is offering advancements in cancer-related therapies to help patients reverse these effects.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a relatively new form of treatment that significantly increases the speed at which wounds and injuries heal,” Dr. Sonja Lichtenstein, medical director of the SOMC Wound Healing Center, said. “It is also the only known treatment that can retract delayed radiation damage, often showing improvement or complete resolution in 60 to 80 percent of patients.”

The process works through a pure oxygen chamber that has been pressurized at higher-than-normal atmospheric levels. Patients lie in the chamber for two hours at a time and are able to watch television and relax while the healing process occurs.

“The air pressure inside the chamber is two and a half times greater than normal air pressure, helping the blood carry oxygen to injured organs and tissues more quickly and efficiently,” she explained.

“This type of non-invasive therapy is extremely beneficial for most wounds, and has been particularly helpful to patients suffering from damage of the brain, chest wall, abdomen, pelvis, bladder, intestines or the muscle and soft tissues of the face and throat due to radiation treatment.”

Hyperbaric oxygen also has had some of its most dramatic successes in treating damage to the jaw bone, as was the case with recent Wound Healing Center patient, Charles Canter.

“The pain was awful and I thought it would never heal,” Canter said of his injury. “I had tried every known treatment and nothing had worked. Finally my physician suggested hyperbaric oxygen therapy and told me it could be done within 45-minutes of my home. I immediately jumped at the opportunity.”

Within four two-hour treatments at the center, Canter felt remarkably different, noticing an increase in energy and improvement in pain. By the time his four-weeks of therapy had concluded, Canter’s injury had completely healed.

“The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is close to home while offering superior technology and results,” he said. “Better yet, the staff always made me feel comfortable and did everything they could to help me along my path of recovery. I would recommend SOMC services to anyone in a heartbeat and I thank the staff members of the Wound Healing Center for repairing my life.”

To learn more about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy or other treatments offered at the SOMC Wound Healing Center, please call 356-8775.