How to use Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy after Plastic Surgery

by Dr. Kilcup | Feb 26, 2024 | Articles, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy after Plastic Surgery

Undergoing plastic surgery is a significant decision, often motivated by the desire for self-improvement and increased confidence. While plastic surgery can deliver transformative results, the recovery process plays a crucial role in achieving optimal outcomes. In recent years, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has emerged as a groundbreaking postoperative intervention, offering a non-invasive and effective approach to enhance recovery after plastic surgery.

Understanding Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy involves exposing the body to pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, allowing the bloodstream to absorb a higher concentration of oxygen than under normal conditions. This innovative treatment has shown promising results in various medical fields, and its application after plastic surgery is gaining recognition for its ability to accelerate healing and improve overall recovery.

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy after Plastic Surgery

Faster Healing

After plastic surgery, wounds are vulnerable to infection and slow healing. HBOT delivers oxygen-rich blood to the surgical site, promoting tissue repair and regeneration. This increased oxygenation creates an environment conducive to accelerated healing, reducing the risk of complications.

Less Pain

HBOT not only contributes to faster healing but also plays a crucial role in minimizing pain during the recovery process. By enhancing tissue repair and reducing inflammation, patients often experience a more comfortable and less painful recovery journey post-plastic surgery. This dual benefit underscores the holistic approach of HBOT in ensuring optimal postoperative well-being.

Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation is a common postoperative challenge that can lead to discomfort and delayed recovery. HBOT has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing inflammation, providing relief and facilitating a more comfortable recovery process.

Improved Blood Flow

Plastic surgery procedures may affect blood circulation in the treated areas. HBOT enhances blood flow, ensuring that vital nutrients and oxygen reach the surgical site, further supporting the healing process and minimizing recovery time.

Reduced Scarring

HBOT’s benefits extend to minimizing scarring after plastic surgery. By promoting optimal healing, reducing inflammation, and improving blood flow, HBOT contributes to the reduction of scarring. Patients may experience enhanced aesthetic outcomes with minimized scarring, showcasing the holistic impact of HBOT on the overall success of plastic surgery procedures.

Applications in Specific Plastic Surgery Procedures

Patients recovering from virtually any type surgery can benefit from HBOT. Even if your specific surgery is not listed below, you can benefit from HBOT as you recover. Our office recommends 3-5 HBOT treatments pre-surgery and 7-10 treatments after for most surgeries.

There are pictures available for these cases, but, do to the graphic and potentially upsetting nature, I did not include them. They can be viewed in their linked studies.

Facelifts and Rhinoplasty

HBOT can accelerate the healing of incisions and reduce swelling, allowing patients to enjoy the results of their facial rejuvenation sooner. A peer-edited review on HBOT and surgical recovery noted that HBOT has been shown to improve morbidity and mortality rates when used as adjunctive therapy for compromised skin wounds.

When complications arise from filler treatments, the usual solution is using hyaluronidase. However, some patients still face issues like ischemia. HBOT is a helpful alternative treatment. In one case, a patient was experiencing skin necrosis (a form of cell injury which results in the premature death of cells) from the nasal surgery. It lead to muscle weakness and lip asymmetry. The patient’s wound care routine involved cleaning with soap and water, applying antibiotic ointment, and dressing the area daily. Additionally, the patient underwent 20 HBOT sessions at 2.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA). Remarkably, the nasal tip necrosis completely resolved after five weeks of this combined treatment.


While dermal fillers offer a popular non-surgical cosmetic solution, complications can arise. Common issues include bruising and swelling, but more severe problems like infection or vascular complications may occur.

In one case, 53-year-old woman got a filler for her nose, but it caused a serious issue called skin necrosis. She didn’t get medical help until it was severe. She then had 25 HBOT sessions over 3 weeks. After which, her condition improved a lot – with only minor pigment (color) issues that could be easily covered with makeup.

Breast Augmentation or Reduction

HBOT aids in the healing of incisions and reduces the risk of complications, contributing to an overall smoother recovery for breast surgery patients.

Patient testimony:I bounced back quite quickly. I’m already working my normal schedule, and my energy level is back to normal. I’m so grateful to my doctors for providing this therapy!” said Bessin, recovering from breast reconstruction.

Body Contouring Procedures

Patients undergoing liposuction or tummy tucks can benefit from HBOT’s ability to promote tissue regeneration, reduce inflammation, and enhance overall recovery.

In a 2017 study on patients recovering from abdominoplasty (aka a tummy tuck), results showed that patients who had HBOT before surgery had significantly fewer postoperative complications compared to those who didn’t receive HBOT, dropping from 32.6% to 8.4%. None of the HBOT patients experienced necrosis, while 6.2% in the comparison group did. The study concludes that preoperative HBOT can be a protective factor against postoperative complications in abdominoplasty patients.

Personalized Approach for Optimal Results

One of the strengths of HBOT lies in its adaptability to individual patient needs. Plastic surgery patients can benefit from a personalized HBOT treatment plan, tailored to their specific procedure and recovery goals. This individualized approach aligns with the modern concept of comprehensive and patient-centered care.

Start Today!

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy after Plastic Surgery emerges as a transformative ally, optimizing the healing process and contributing to enhanced overall well-being. Thanks to HBOT, patients can look forward to swifter recoveries, reduced complications, and a more successful outcome.

Our Hyperbaric Clinic located in Phoenix, Arizona has multiple FDA-certified hyperbaric chambers. We are open 6 days a week and additionally offer other therapies like Functional Medicine, Red Light Therapy, and Massage Therapy to best serve our patients. Fill out our new patient form below and call our office at (602) 864 – 0304 to start today!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long do the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy last?

The duration of the effects of HBOT can vary based on the individual’s condition and the specific goals of the therapy. In some cases, the effects of HBOT may be immediate and short-lived, while in other cases, multiple sessions of HBOT may be required to achieve longer-lasting benefits.

How often should you do hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

The frequency of HBOT sessions can vary depending on the individual’s condition, treatment goals, and the recommendation of a healthcare professional. Typically, HBOT is administered as a series of sessions. It ranges from a few to several sessions over a specified period.

How quickly does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?

The speed at which HBOT works can vary depending on the individual’s condition and the specific goals of the therapy. Some individuals may experience immediate improvements or relief of symptoms after a few sessions of HBOT, while others may require multiple sessions over a longer period of time to see noticeable effects. The timeframe for experiencing the benefits of HBOT can be different for each person, and it is best to consult with a healthcare professional experienced in HBOT to get a better understanding of the expected timeline.

How can I find an HBOT chamber near me?

We are located in Phoenix, Arizona, but if you live far away I recommend reading my article on finding the right clinic for you.

Darrell Kilcup, DC, CFMP

Hi there! I’m Dr. Kilcup. You know that health problem you’ve been dealing with – the one that doctors can’t seem to solve, that’s stealing way too much of your time, energy and joy? I can help you get to the bottom that. I am passionate about using the best of science and nutrition to find and fix root causes of health issues. Start your journey towards healing and relief today.

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Overall Rating
5.0 16 reviews
I am so happy and grateful to have found Dr. Kilcup!! He is extremely patient, kind and compassionate, and takes the time to really listen and educate about the practices and treatments. I am seeing him for treatment for multiple things (hyperbaric oxygen, chiropractic care, functional medicine) and he has surpassed any other previous doctors and specialists I’ve seen before. I highly recommend working with him and his staff!
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Taylor Wray Avatar
Taylor Wray
4 months ago
The office staff is very friendly and helpful, the chamber is very effective for health benefits. Have been trying out the red light therapy as well. I highly recommend this place.
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Brandon M Avatar
Brandon M
5 months ago
What a great experience, I’ve never done anything like this before. I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful. Can’t say enough good stuff about this place. I totally recommend trying it out. my adventure continues….
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Wade Jagmin
5 months ago
I have just done my second treatment and I felt pretty good. I didn’t really notice a difference after the first treatment but could tell I felt pretty good after todays. I have a lot going on health wise and look forward to how these treatments and Dr Kilcup will get me back on track.
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Ronny Heeb
5 months ago
Dr Kilcup and his staff are very knowledgeable and kind. They have state of the art equipment to aid in healing my chronic autoimmune disease. Thank you Functional Medicine Center!
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Cherie Shaw Avatar
Cherie Shaw
5 months ago