Article Text

Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) treatment for a failing facial flap
  1. Brian F McCrary
  1. Correspondence to:
 Brian F McCrary
 DO, 653 Ruby Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687, USA; brian.mccrary-02{at}


Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) is an approved treatment for 13 pathological entities. One of these indications—a failing facial flap—is presented in this case report of a traumatic wound to the face and right axilla after an unprovoked pit bull attack on a 4 year old girl. Surgical repair was started acutely but the facial flap became congested and ischaemic, indicating deterioration of the blood supply. HBO2 treatments were initiated twice a day, resulting in remarkably decreased swelling and discomfort after the first treatment. Leeching was also used to assist with reduction of venous congestion in the flap. The patient was discharged 5 days later with a well perfused, mostly intact, incision with minimal tenderness. Surgical repair was required for a small area of wound dehiscence. Photographs documenting the patient’s progress with HBO2 are presented. A discussion of the mechanisms of action of HBO2 and its beneficial effects is provided in this case.

  • HBO2, hyperbaric oxygen
  • OMS, oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • PMNs, polymorphonuclear cells
  • hyperbaric
  • oxygen
  • ischaemia
  • flap

Statistics from


  • Current position: Commander, Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care Center

  • The opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and not necessarily endorsed by the United States Air Force.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.