What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Doctors have used hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for more than three decades. The treatment is simple: Patients lie down and relax inside a pressurized chamber that looks like a large tube. The pressure inside the chamber is higher than in the normal atmosphere. While inside, patients breathe in 100 percent oxygen for about 90 minutes — the usual length of a treatment.
How does it work?
In HBOT, the higher pressure and concentrated oxygen allow more oxygen to enter a person’s blood. This oxygen-rich blood travels to other areas of the body and can help wounds heal more rapidly. Research shows HBOT may reduce the risk of amputation for diabetes patients. How? Wound healing involves many functions that depend on oxygen. Our ability to fight infection also relies on oxygen; the body’s disease-fighting cells need oxygen in order to kill invading bacteria.
Some of the people who benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy include those with:
- Foot ulcers related to diabetes
- Bone infections or osteomyelitis
- Wounds from radiation therapy for cancer
When do you use it?
Tanner Advanced Wound Center offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat these wounds and conditions:
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Refractory osteomyelitis
- Soft tissue radionecrosis
- Compromised skin grafts/flaps
A series of HBOT treatments is usually needed over the course of several weeks. HBOT may be especially helpful when combined with other wound treatments. However, HBOT is not right for everyone, including those who suffer from seizures or people who take certain medications. Ask your doctor about HBOT and other options to help your wounds heal.
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