What is HBOT?
HBOT or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an advanced medical therapy proven to accelerate the healing of wounds and other conditions such as compromised skin grafts/flaps, diabetic wounds of the lower extremities and more.
It involves the delivery of a high concentration of oxygen in a pressurized chamber. This sends oxygen quickly and deeply into the affected areas of the body.The duration of each treatment, the number of treatments and the pressure used all vary, depending on the patient’s condition.
Why is it needed?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is considered to be an effective treatment for the following conditions:
- Air or gas bubbles in the bloodstream, which may travel to the brain or lungs
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Crush injury other acute traumatic problems where blood flow is reduced or cut off (e.g., frostbite)
- Enhancement of healing for wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers
- Severe Anemia
- Intracranial abscess -an accumulation of pus in the brain
- Tissue infections
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Tissue damage from radiation therapy
- Skin grafts and flaps that are not healing well
- Severe burns
- Sudden loss of hearing
How does it actually work?
The main reason for HBOT is to to accelerate the healing of wounds and one of the reasons wound healing can be slow is because of a lack of oxygen to it. The air we breathe under normal conditions contains about 21% oxygen. HBOT allows us to breathe 100% oxygen while inside a clear pressurized chamber. The high-pressure environment of the chamber helps carry increased amounts of oxygen throughout the body and thus healing the wound.
What to expect during and after HBOT?
People relax, sit, or lie comfortably in HBOT chambers and take deep breaths in sessions that last up to 2 hours.
Your ears may feel plugged as the pressure is raised, like when you’re in an airplane or the mountains. Simple swallowing or chewing gum will “pop” the ears back to normal hearing levels.
Your blood carries the extra oxygen throughout the body, infusing the injured tissues that need more oxygen so they can begin healing. When a session is complete, you may feel lightheaded. Mild side effects include claustrophobia, fatigue, and headaches.
The number of sessions will depend on the reason you are going for the therapy and the current condition Your doctor will advise you about the same upon consultation.