Burlington resident Paula Benard had an earache that just wouldn’t go away in the spring of 2011 so she went to see her doctor. A cancerous tumor was discovered on her tongue and led to rounds of chemotherapy and radiation as well as surgery. Although Benard felt some relief after her treatment was completed, she was still unable to swallow because of the wound in her mouth forcing her to remain on a feeding tube. Her doctor referred her to the Hallmark Health System Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine for further treatment.
Benard, 74, received treatment at the Center five days a week for six weeks, spending two hours in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber each day. Today she is 80 percent healed and cancer free.
Although Bernard isn’t all the way there yet, she is happy to be on the road to recovery.
“My experience at the Center was excellent,” she said. “Everyone involved with my care was wonderful.”
The Center, located at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, offers comprehensive wound care for all types of chronic wounds including diabetic ulcers, venous and pressure ulcers as well as wounds caused by poor blood flow or other underlying medical conditions. The Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Alfonso Serrano, MD, a board-certified general and vascular surgeon, serves as the medical director for the Center. A multi-disciplinary team of highly-skilled physicians, nurses and specialists helps patients get their lives back by concentrating on non-healing wounds, ones that have resisted healing after months and even years of traditional treatment.
The Center features two hyperbaric oxygen chambers. If a patient’s wounds qualify for this type of treatment, the patient will breathe 100 percent oxygen under pressure while resting comfortably inside the roomy, plexiglass chamber. This non-invasive, painless treatment known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, increases the patient’s oxygen level in the bloodstream. This enhances the body’s natural healing, strengthens the immune system, and often results in a return to an active lifestyle.
The Center also contains dedicated exam and treatment rooms that provide the best treatment for these patients. For more information, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org and select “Programs” or call (781) 979-3500.