“Hyperbaric” is derived from “hyper” (meaning higher than normal) and “baric” (meaning pressure). In our specialized field of medicine, it defines the environment in which we deliver our oxygen therapy.
How Does it Work?
After undergoing gender affirmation surgery, the altered area is starved for oxygen. The associated inflammation and trauma affect the blood vessels, causing fluid to flood the traumatized tissues, leading to swelling (edema), which further deprives the cells of oxygen.
Within the hyperbaric chamber, the oxygen molecules are compressed by the increased pressure.
This creates an effect that makes the oxygen molecules more soluble, obeying the scientific principles of Henry’s Gas Law. This natural phenomenon has a remarkable effect of dissolving in the plasma of your blood up to 18 times the “normal” concentration of oxygen. The oxygen dissolved in your plasma can then travel to the injured tissues whose blood supplies have been disrupted, thus repairing the oxygen-starved flaps and grafts.
Normally, only the red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. With the oxygen now available to the body in the blood plasma, an alternate transport route is created to deliver higher quantities of oxygen to healing tissues. Typically, there is a very limited blood supply to new flaps and grafts. With HBOT, these oxygen-starved tissues have access to the oxygen-rich fluid needed to stimulate healing and recovery.