Getting High on Oxygen


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious issue and has recently been a hot topic with the NFL. The treatment is mostly preventative but in a July 2015 ESPN magazine article, Joe Namath spoke highly of the positive effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) on TBI. HBOT is performed in a sealed transparent chamber and delivers 100% pressurized oxygen to the body. HBOT has been utilized for burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, the treatment of the bends, wound healing, and delayed or failing plastic surgery grafts or flaps to name some. There are many FDA approved treatments but TBI is not one of them. Evidence has not shown improvement over placebo but don’t tell Joe Namath it doesn’t work. After more than 120 one hour treatments he feels cognitively stronger and is a staunch supporter of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury.

HBOT has been shown to improve the survival of wounded tissue in the acute setting. It is being utilized to enhance the survival of tissue grafts, which include fat transfer procedures such as Brazilian butt lifts and natural breast augmentations. Efforts should be made to look at the positive effects of HBOT on head injuries in the acute setting. This may be an even more effective way to minimize the extent of the brain wound.

Justin Yovino, MD is a double board certified Plastic Surgeon practicing in Beverly Hills, CA 90210 at Ideal Face and Body.
Article by
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon