Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

18 Feb

It has been over a month since Susie started taking antispasmodics.  We were hoping to see neurologic improvement, but her condition is largely unchanged.  We met with her local Neuro-Oncologist this week for follow-up and to discuss next steps.

First and foremost, her MRI was very similar to her MD Anderson scans from December; so physiologically her scans are stable.  It is unclear if the region affected by the stroke event is brighter, but it has not shrunk or expanded.  Nevertheless, we were comforted to hear the enhancement does not look like tumor progression.

Understanding the above, we need to take a more aggressive stance towards improving oxygenation of her left temporal and frontal lobes.  We discussed Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and Avastin (bevacizumab).  As Susie has a propensity for collecting side effects, we’ve decided to try HBOT.  My next step is to work with our insurance for coverage, as Aetna considers HBOT experimental for stroke and Glioblastoma.  The treatment is approved for radiation necrosis.

From what I have read, HBOT increases tissue oxygenation and suppresses inflammation.  When we learned of Susie’s SMART Syndrome diagnosis, my sister suggested I look into HBOT.  She considers it for patients whose tissue is in areas that tend to be poorly oxygenated after surgery.  In terms of the brain, the use of HBOT is controversial.  I have read a few studies that show both benefit and lack of evidence.  I even found an article that said it might be harmful for Acute Ischemic Stroke patients. The articles I found most interesting are:

Surprisingly, there are quite a few options for Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment in Austin.  I’m curious to understand what is the difference between them are.  Some only have single person devices, while others support the patient with support staff.

All in all, we are happy we still have options.

Monoplace Hyperbaric Chambers
Multiplace Hyperbaric Chambers