Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO)
What is HBO?
Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) Therapy is a treatment in which the patient breathes 100% pure oxygen while inside a pressurized chamber. The air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is about two and a half times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. This “hyperbaric” (or high pressure) dose of oxygen helps your blood carry more oxygen to your organs and tissues to promote wound healing. It also activates the white blood cells to fight infection.
HBO treatment is an outpatient procedure used in combination with other treatments. It is provided once daily, for approximately four to six weeks. One treatment takes about two hours and is quite comfortable for most patients.
Wounds Treated by HBO
Approved indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:
- Diabetic wound of the lower extremity
- Chronic refractory osteomyelitis (chronic bone infection)
- Osteoradionecrosis (late side effect of radiation – bone)
- Soft tissue radionecrosis (late side effect of radiation – soft tissue)
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency
- Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia
- Progressive necrotizing infections
- Crush injuries and suturing of severed limbs (acute)
- Gas gangrene (acute)
- Gas embolism
- Acute carbon monoxide intoxication
- Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
Insurance coverage varies and our staff will work with your insurance to make all necessary arrangements.
What Can a Patient Expect?
- To prepare for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO):
- Treatments normally last about two hours. A staff member will tell you how many treatments you will need. During your treatment, you may watch television, a movie or take a nap.
- You will be given a 100% cotton clothing to wear in the chamber. No cosmetics, perfumes, hair preparations, deodorants, wigs, jewelry or electronic devices are allowed in the chamber (most pacemakers are allowed in the chamber). The hyperbaric technologist will need to know if you are taking any medications, including non-prescription drugs. You are advised not to drink alcohol or carbonated beverages for four hours prior to treatment.
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products interferes with the body’s ability to transport oxygen. Therefore, your doctor will work with you on techniques to help stop smoking during the treatment period.