News Release

Date: September 15, 2010 

UC San Diego Health System Expands Healing Services In North County 

 

Director of new Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing Center brings fresh outlook

A wound that fails to heal is a serious health issue.  Complications range from ongoing pain to severe infection or even amputation.  UC San Diego Health System’s Department of Emergency Medicine is expanding treatment options in the San Diego region by opening a new Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing Center in Encinitas, California. 

Caesar Anderson, MD

“The field of hyperbaric medicine is on a sharp incline in terms of both its clinical use and awareness among members of the medical community,” said Caesar Anderson, MD, director of UCSD’s Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing Center, Encinitas.  “Practicing competent wound care does not mean treating a wound in isolation; it means keeping the complete patient in mind.”

Exterior photograph: UCSD's hyperbaric chamber in North County

The UCSD Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing Center, located at 477 N. El Camino Real, Ste. D-204, Encinitas, California, specializes in the treatment of difficult-to-heal wounds, including those resulting from an operation, radiation exposure, diabetes, bone infection, or trauma. The all-inclusive center provides all the necessary services, including expert evaluation, individual therapy plans and support tailored for each patient. 

Patients being cared for in UCSD's hyperbaric chamber, North County

The center also offers more advanced treatment options such as bioengineered skin grafting and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).  HBOT greatly increases oxygen levels in the body and is an effective remedy for many types of chronic, non-healing wounds. This non-invasive, painless technique infuses the bloodstream and tissues with high levels of oxygen, enhancing the body’s ability to heal.  The state-of-the-art facility offers the largest, most comfortable chamber in the region. During treatment, patients may read, watch a movie, rest or listen to music while breathing normally, under the surveillance of a physician.

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the amount of oxygen a patient breathes in is increased to 100 percent. At the same time, the pressure surrounding the body is slowly increased.  This dual process enables the blood to carry much more oxygen to the tissues, promoting healthy tissue and new blood vessel growth. The high oxygen level also helps fight infections caused by a variety of bacteria, augments antibiotic strength, and further promotes healing.  An average session lasts no more than two hours and the pressure changes experienced are very similar to that of traveling in an airplane. 

“This is a simple procedure with great benefits.  It is extremely safe and it makes sense to try this approach rather than endure real loss.  This treatment saves limbs and lifestyles,” said Dr. Anderson.

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About Dr. Anderson:

Caesar Anderson’s educational career led him to attend four of America’s seven Ivy League institutions.  After graduating from Howard University Medical School, he began his general surgery residency at the University of Connecticut, with an interest in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Following two years of additional training at Hartford Hospital, Anderson acquired Advanced Wound Management certification.  He then transitioned to Yale New Haven & Griffin Hospital's Combined Internal and Preventative Medicine residency and received a Master of Public Health degree from Yale School of Public Health.  Later, he performed an additional fellowship year in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Here, Anderson found his calling while studying with world-renowned hyperbaric wound care expert, Dr. Stephen Thom. 

Anderson’s clinical interests include wound care, limb-salvaging, hyperbaric medicine and advanced skin therapeutics (bioengineered grafts, growth-factor technology and minimally invasive laser cosmetology).

About UC San Diego Health System:

UC San Diego Health System has been in operation since 1966. It comprises the system of patient services provided at the UC San Diego Medical Center – Hillcrest; Thornton Hospital; Moores Cancer Center; Shiley Eye Center; the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center (scheduled to open in 2011); and  other primary and specialty practices of the UC San Diego Medical Group located throughout San Diego County.  The two hospitals operate under one license with a combined licensed capacity of 548 beds. As the only university health system in San Diego County and the region’s only academic medical center, its role is to take exceptional care of people by providing excellent and compassionate patient care, advancing medical discoveries and educating the health care professionals of tomorrow.

Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163, kedwards@ucsd.edu