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March 1986

Adjunct Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Periorbital Reconstruction

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison (Dr Gonnering) and the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine, St Luke's Hospital, Milwaukee (Drs Kindwall and Goldmann).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(3):439-443. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050150141046

• The abundant blood supply normally found in the periorbital region grants the reconstructive surgeon many options for repair. When this blood supply is altered by such factors as thermal damage or scar formation, classic methods of lid reconstruction may not suffice. In such situations, treatment with hyperbaric oxygen accelerates the process of primary revascularization of full-thickness skin grafts and large composite grafts. Augmentation of capillary budding occurs because hyperbaric oxygen therapy raises the tissue oxygen tension in hypoxic areas to the level needed for extracellular deposition of collagen, which is needed for support of endothelial cells. Hyperbaric oxygen also appears to improve the survival of ischemic skin flaps of the face, although the exact mechanism of this action is unclear. Since 1982, a total of six patients needing periorbital reconstruction has been treated postoperatively with adjunct hyperbaric oxygen. Although the results have been uniformly favorable, a matched series comparing the results with and without hyperbaric oxygen therapy will be required to prove the efficacy of this treatment regimen.