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As Prescribed Blog

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – Not just for scuba divers!

Robert Goldman, MD Robert Goldman, MD August 30, 2012 0 Comments General Health

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - Not just for SCUBA divers!You may be wondering why a wound specialist in Wisconsin cares about hyperbaric medicine?  After all, we aren’t near any oceans to treat divers who get “the bends” and carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t all that common – thankfully!  But the truth is, wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) are nearly inseparable.

If you have a wound that is considered “chronic” and can’t be healed through conventional means, you may be a candidate for HBOT.  Treatment is delivered in a special chamber in which the internal pressure reaches a level about two-and-one-half times greater than normal atmospheric pressure, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  This pressure change does NOT cause pain (maybe some ear popping as the pressure is slowly increased,)  but it does put more oxygen in to your blood which accelerates healing.  Once you are comfortably positioned in the chamber and the pressure reaches the desired level, all you need to do is lay back and relax.  Many patients sleep, watch a movie or just enjoy the quiet time for the 90 or so minutes the treatment takes. Treatments are repeated 4- 5 days per week for a series of 6-8 weeks.

During each treatment you will breathe 100% pure oxygen, quickly increasing the concentration of oxygen in your blood, where it is delivered  to the wound site for faster healing.  Essentially, HBOT therapy helps heal the wound from the inside out. HBOT can help reduce swelling, fight infection, and build new blood vessels, ultimately producing
healthy tissue.

At the Johnson Creek Wound & Edema Center, HBOT is used in the treatment of:

  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Bone infections, such as Osteomyelitis
  • Negative effects of radiation from cancer treatment
  • Compromised skin grafts and flaps
  • Brown recluse spider bites

Medicare and most healthcare plans reimburse for hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 'currently accepted indications.' Our staff will assist you with personal insurance issues.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not offered in many hospital systems because it is such a specialized treatment option. A referral is not required,  but is suggested. We will keep your physician up-to-speed on your progress all along the way.

Learn more at FortHealthCare.com/Wound.