When A Wound Just Won’t Heal
Oxygen therapy helps a Frederick area woman improve her health and quality of life
It was just weeks before her wedding when 31-year old Monique Marwani of Ijamsville in Frederick County learned she had cervical cancer. Marwani, now 38, received treatment that left her cancer free for more than five years but also caused some other health issues.
“Sometimes when you have an illness like mine that lasts so long, the doctors will tell you you’re lucky to be alive and this is your new normal,” says Marwani, who was treated with radiation and chemotherapy and developed a condition called radiation cystitis.
“Radiation cystitis is the formation of abnormal blood vessels in the bladder, due to radiation treatment,” says Barry Aron, M.D., chair of urology at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. “As a result of this condition, Monique was experiencing bleeding.”
In September 2012, Dr. Aron performed a surgery on Marwani to stop the bleeding. Following this, physicians recommended that she undergo hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital’s Wound Care Center.
HBO therapy is a medical procedure where 100 percent oxygen is supplied to a person inside a pressurized chamber. The concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream is quickly increased and delivered to a patient’s wound for faster healing.
“In Monique’s case, the goal of HBO therapy was to heal the walls of the bladder,” says Joel Buzy, M.D., emergency physician and medical director of hyperbarics at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. “Radiation can damage tissue and blood vessels, resulting in a lack of oxygen and healing. HBO therapy increases oxygen, stimulating the body to repair the affected area.”
Good Things Are Happening
The combination of surgery and HBO therapy promoted healing and stopped the bleeding that Marwani had experienced for years. In addition, she noted that her overall pain level was reduced and her hip bones, which were once so tender that she couldn’t touch them, were now strong enough to lean against items with no pain.
“It is the easiest form of treatment because you are lying there relaxing and your body is literally being healed. All you have to do is breathe,” Marwani says. “It is good to know that there is something out there to propel you into wellness. It leads me to believe good things will happen.”