An unwanted side effect of radiation therapy. There are two types of radionecrosis: osteoradionecrosis (when bone is damaged), and soft tissue radionecrosis which affects skin, muscle, and organs.
When blood vessels are irradiated, they become scarred and narrow. Necrosis, death of bone or soft tissue, results. An enriched oxygen environment such as a hyperbaric chamber can minimize damage to tissues while giving blood vessels time to heal. Any tissue which has necrotized must be removed.