Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
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Why choose UCLA Health for hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Experts at UCLA Hyperbaric Medicine specialize in hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which restores oxygen flow to injured tissue. We use this therapy to help your body heal and fight infection. Our specialists work with you to develop a personalized and comprehensive treatment plan, so you can get back to the activities you enjoy.
Highlights of our program include:
Safety is a priority: At UCLA Health, your well-being comes above all else. Our doctors assess patients before and after each treatment. A hyperbaric medicine nurse or technician remains in the hyperbaric chamber with you during treatment sessions. In case of emergency, a special safety lock allows staff and patients to enter and exit the chamber.
Personalized and attentive care: Each person has a unique response to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. We take the time to carefully evaluate you and develop an individualized treatment plan that will maximize the therapy’s success. We follow guidelines created by research and supported by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society to determine your optimal number of therapy sessions.
Specialized knowledge: Whether you have a minor nonhealing wound, compromised surgical wound or delayed injury from radiation therapy, our team can help. We have expertise in every diagnosis that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can treat.
Collaborative care: You may receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy in addition to other treatments such as antibiotics, surgery or nutritional support. We communicate with your entire care team and primary care physician. Coordination throughout treatment helps us achieve the best possible results and ensure that all treatments work well together.
How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?
HBOT delivers intermittent (on and off) oxygen to your body. Oxygen enhances your body’s healing process and helps it fight infection.
During therapy, you breathe high doses of oxygen inside a special hyperbaric chamber (a room that looks like a large tunnel). We give you clothes made of 100% cotton to wear inside the chamber because other materials pose a safety risk.
You receive oxygen through a mask or a large, clear helmet placed over your head. Increased atmospheric pressure in the chamber means oxygen rapidly dissolves in your bloodstream. This process allows your blood and tissues to absorb and hold on to more oxygen.
Multiplace hyperbaric chamber
You receive HBOT in our multiplace hyperbaric chamber, the largest of its kind in Southern California. The extra room helps people with claustrophobia better tolerate treatment and allows you to comfortably sit or lie down. You may receive HBOT alone or with others. A member of our team also stays with you inside the chamber for safety.
Compared to a single-person (monoplace) chamber, our multiplace chamber fits up to 18 people. This space also allows us to treat a wider array of conditions and more people at once during critical emergencies, such as a group of firefighters with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Conditions we treat with hyperbaric medicine
Our expert team treats all conditions that may benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including:
- Acute traumatic blood loss, crushing injuries or thermal burns
- Bone and skin infections
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Decompression sickness
- Injuries from radiation therapy
- Minor and complex wounds that have difficulty healing
- Wounds caused by complications of diabetes
Hyperbaric medicine treatments we offer
At UCLA Hyperbaric Medicine, our team works with you daily to make sure your body experiences the long-term effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Most treatment plans involve at least 20 sessions. Each HBOT session typically lasts two hours. We also provide care during emergency situations.
HBOT after radiation
Sometimes, radiation for cancer treatment can damage healthy tissue months or even years after therapy. These injuries have difficulty healing due to a lack of blood supply to the damaged tissue. Studies have shown that the number of blood vessels in tissue treated with radiation may be just 30% of healthy tissue.
We offer HBOT to improve blood supply to areas damaged by radiation and promote blood vessel growth, reducing your risk of infection or complications after surgery. For many people, the large extent of new blood vessel growth after HBOT can make it seem as if the affected areas were never exposed to radiation.
Treating diabetic foot and leg wounds
Our team works closely with vascular surgeons, podiatrists (foot doctors) and infectious disease specialists to treat diabetic foot and leg wounds. These wounds result from nerve damage and poor blood flow. Hyperbaric therapy can prevent the need for amputation or help heal amputation sites.
HBOT for SCUBA divers
SCUBA divers who breathe compressed air or mixed gasses underwater can experience decompression sickness (“the bends”) if they ascend too rapidly to the surface. With this condition, nitrogen bubbles develop in the body and cause severe symptoms, such as pain, nausea or paralysis. We offer intensive HBOT sessions combined with breathing support and medical management of blood pressure.
Our expert team
Our experienced team includes skilled physicians, nurses and hyperbaric technicians. We use specialized knowledge and advanced technology to provide you with customized treatment. Our expert doctors directly supervise every hyperbaric oxygen session, including emergency care.
Call 310-794-1031 to request an appointment with our hyperbaric medicine team at UCLA Health.