• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps heal a veteran’s wounds

May 28, 2017

Fritz Kruger of Hayward, Wisconsin, wondered how breathing pure oxygen while enclosed in a pressurized tube could heal his body. Fritz, 56, suffered from side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer when he was referred for hyperbaric oxygen therapy in fall 2016.

A U.S. Air Force veteran who served from 1986 to 1995, including in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Fritz was treated for cancer at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System. He had his prostate removed in 2012, followed by radiation treatments. As of August 2016, Fritz was showing no signs of cancer, but the radiation had taken a toll on his body.

"I had blood in my urine," says Fritz, who also was feeling other painful effects. "There was so much scar tissue that they couldn't find the opening from my kidneys into my bladder."

Fritz's VA doctor recommended hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A search of hyperbaric facilities within reach of Fritz's home led him to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
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This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.