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The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in Reversing Vascular Occlusion

Demand for non-invasive processes such as filler injections has gone up, especially in recent times where accentuated beauty is regarded highly. They are preferred for their non-invasive nature. Like any other medical or cosmetic procedure, complications happen even though they are quite rare. Prompt action is required to avoid an increase in the severity of the complication. Some of the most popular fillers used today include hyaluronic acid, placental extract, calcium hydroxylapatite, and poly‐L‐lactic acid. The fillers applied on the skin dermis are injected into the intended section to enhance the skin and come up with “renewed skin”. In the process of administering the fillers, various complications happen which include vascular occlusion and microbial infections. If the aforementioned are left untreated, necrosis results. Some of the most common symptoms of vascular occlusion include persistent pain, slower recovery time for open wounds, as well as discoloration to infection of the infected region.

Mechanism of action

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy comes in handy since it provides the required oxygen threshold for wound healing. Oxygen pressure of at least 30 mmHg is optimal for cell metabolism which includes repair processes. The increased systemic oxygen concentrations play a key role in improving the viability and efficiency of antibiotics taken for the healing of the soft tissues. Vasoconstriction that comes about as a result of increased tissue oxygenation leads to reduced edema as well as boosted tissue viability. Also, hyperoxygenation that hails from hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) addresses the vascular complications and deep skin infections that result from filler action. Pure oxygen triggers fibroblast proliferation and repair of damaged terminal blood vessels. There is a regrowth of capillaries in the jeopardized areas as well. Reactive oxygen species and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) work hand in hand to ensure that every tissue around the compromised area works optimally and is safeguarded from any infections that result from pathogens.

Reversal of vascular occlusion as a result of failed facial filler processes is one of the most encouraging applications of HBOT that has been explored in recent times. Oxygenating the ischemic tissues around the affected parts improves the healing of the lesions. The visible scars diminish and finally disappear as one continues with their sessions. Once oxygen is delivered to the affected parties under ambient pressure, elevated systemic oxygen proportions lead to increased soft-tissue infiltration of essential elements, mainly oxygen and essential nutrients. The viability of most medical solutions is increased as well thus leading to rapid healing of acute wounds in context. The deep infections can heal leaving behind minimal blemishes which eventually fade away with time. HBO alleviates regular massages and hot compresses that the victims of vascular occlusion have to go through to resume normalcy.


Oley, M. H., Oley, M. C., Mawu, F. O., Aling, D. M. R., & Faruk, M. (2022). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in managing minimally invasive aesthetic procedure complications: a report of three cases. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Volume 15, 63–68.

Signorini, M., Liew, S., Sundaram, H., De Boulle, K. L., Goodman, G., Monheit, G. D., Wu, Y., De Almeida, A. B., Swift, A., & Braz, A. (2016). Global Aesthetics Consensus: Avoidance and Management of Complications from Hyaluronic Acid Fillers—Evidence- and Opinion-Based Review and Consensus Recommendations. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 137(6), 961e–971e.



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