Soft Tissue Radiation Injury and Care

wound care

Radiation, while effective in the treatment of cancerous tumor cells, is not selective in the tissue it targets. In other words, while effectively destroying cancerous tumor cells, radiation can also cause damage to healthy tissue. This damage can occur anywhere between 2 weeks to 20 years after treatment. More often than not, there are no symptoms of radiation injury for at least 5 years. For those who suffer from soft tissue radiation injury, oxygen is the key to healing.

Symptoms of Soft Tissue Radiation Injury

The symptoms of radiation injury are usually not as visible as typical chronic wounds and can be harder to detect. This is because soft tissue radiation damage often begins in the tissue or bone. Your doctor must first rule out other possible causes of these symptoms, because they could be an indication of a different health problem. Depending on the location of the previous radiation therapy, these symptoms could include:

  • Presence of blood in urine
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pain

Soft Tissue Radiation and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Until recently, there has been no satisfactory treatment for radiation damage - hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) fills this long-standing need. Radiation damage causes a lack of oxygen in the body's tissues. HBOT helps fight this damage by increasing the amount of oxygen within the tissues, which aids in recovery. Like any therapy, it is not a cure-all; however, approximately 60 to 80 percent of patients will experience either improvement or complete resolution of soft tissue radiation injury.

Call Us Today

To find a wound care specialist:



Wound Healing Center
MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Blvd., Suite 2 North
Baltimore, MD 21239

Take a Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of our newly-expanded Wound Healing Center that now offer eight treatment rooms and four hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers.

Wound Care Specialists