Increases oxygen level in both blood and tissue to promote healing.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an adjunctive therapy in which the patient breathes 100 percent oxygen while enclosed in a pressurized chamber at greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure.

While breathing pure oxygen, the patient's blood plasma becomes saturated, carrying 15 to 20 times the normal amount of oxygen to the body's tissues. The ultimate result is that the body's natural wound-healing mechanisms, which are oxygen dependent, are able to function more efficiently. About 18 percent of wound care patients may require hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an important adjunct in the treatment of non-healing wounds. An established technology, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to help in treating:

  • Select problem wounds
  • Radiation tissue damage
  • Crush injuries Compromised skin grafts, flaps and replants
  • Acute traumatic ischemia
  • Diabetic ulcer of the lower extremity
  • Necrotizing soft tissue infections
  • Refractory osteomyelitis
  • Compromised skin grafts, flaps and replants
  • Gas gangrene
  • Non emergency carbon monoxide poisoning

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves the systemic delivery of oxygen to patients placed in a chamber at two to three times atmospheric pressure. While in the chamber, patients breathe 100 percent oxygen for 90 to 120 minutes. This helps accelerate the healing process.

The effects of increased oxygen tension include:

  • Vasoconstriction and the reduction of edema in the area of trauma for crush injuries
  • Increase in oxygen diffusion distance from functioning capillaries in the hyperfused wounds
  • Stimulation of neovascularization in ischemic tissues
  • Support of leukocytic oxidative bacteria killing as an adjunct to antibiotics and wound care

Reimbursement for hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is reimbursable by Medicare and most other third party payors for certain clinical applications. Reimbursement, however, varies and pre- authorization for this service may be required by the patient's health care plan. The Center will work with you to ascertain coverage.

Preparing for Treatments

Before starting your therapy, please review the following:

  • All medications should be brought with you on your first visit.
  • Cosmetics should be avoided as they are often made with petroleum that could pose a potential hazard in hyperbarictherapy.
  • Clothing of 100 percent cotton will be provided for you to wear while in the hyperbaric chamber.
  • All jewelry, hearing aids, and prostheses need to be removed. Daily bathing and frequent hair washing are recommended.
  • Avoid all hairspray and nail polish.
  • Do not smoke for at least two hours before or after treatment. Smoking causes blood vessels to shrink and should be avoided during the course of treatment.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments are administered daily and require patients to be present for approximately two and a half hours each day. The course of treatments varies by diagnosis but usually consists of 20-30 treatments.
  • You will be seen and evaluated by our staff before and after your therapy.
  • Do not drink any alcohol prior to treatment.
  • Eat a regular meal before treatment (this is especially important for diabetic patients).
  • If your doctor has prescribed any medications for you, take them as usual (including pain medication) before you arrive and inform our staff during your evaluation.
  • If you have a cold or any sinus congestion, please inform our staff upon arrival, as this may determine whether nasal sprays and decongestants are administered.