Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Turn to the wound care specialists at Adventist HealthCare for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), an advanced treatment that helps your body heal itself.

What’s HBOT?

During HBOT, you’ll breathe in 100 percent oxygen. This can help your body:

  • Create new, healthy tissue
  • Improve blood flow
  • Reduce swelling

What Does Oxygen Therapy Treat?

Your health care provider may recommend HBOT to treat:

  • Air or gas embolism, a block in blood supply that happens when air bubbles form in a blood vessel or the heart
  • Burns
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
  • Crush injuries or traumas caused by a car accident, fall or gunshot wound
  • Decompression sickness, also called the bends or divers disease
  • Gangrene (tissue death)
  • Infection, such as osteomyelitis (bone infection)
  • Injuries to bone, muscle, skin or other tissue caused by radiation therapy
  • Non-healing wounds, such as diabetic wounds and ulcers
  • Skin grafts and flaps that are compromised (don’t get enough oxygen to heal)

Is HBOT Right for Me?

Ask your primary care provider if HBOT is right for you and talk about the benefits and risks. Your doctor can refer you to one of our wound centers, where we’ve treated thousands of patients from 3 weeks to 101 years old.

Preparing for HBOT

Depend on your care team to tell you how to get ready for HBOT. Most people are able to:

  • Eat, drink and sleep as usual
  • Take their normal medications; but your dose of certain drugs, such as insulin, may need to change

You may need to avoid certain products, like makeup and hair oil.

Tell your provider before treatment if you’re coughing, feeling sick or running a fever. You may need to reschedule your treatment.

Can I Smoke During HBOT?

Don’t smoke before, during or after HBOT. Smoking makes it harder for your body to heal and may prevent HBOT from working.

What to Expect During HBOT

You may want to bring a friend or family member for support during your first treatment. You may have HBOT as an:

  • Outpatient – Visit the healthcare facility for care and go home afterwards
  • Inpatient – Get treatment while you stay at the hospital

During HBOT, you lay on a table that moves into a pressurized chamber, or tube. Then, you’ll breathe in pure oxygen. Most people are comfortable, but you may feel pressure in your ears. If you feel anxious, your provider may give you medication to help.

After HBOT

Your provider will check if the treatment is working. You’ll be able to do your normal activities afterwards.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Your number of HBOT treatments depends on your health and your condition. For example:

  • CO poisoning or decompression sickness may need one or two treatments.
  • Compromised flaps or grafts may need twice daily treatments seven to 10 times.
  • Radiation wounds may need 20 to 40 treatments.

You may also have other treatments, such as surgery or medications.

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Have wounds that won't heal? Request a phone consultation to learn more about our specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds.

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