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What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment that allows patients to breathe 100 percent oxygen inside an enclosed chamber at increased pressure. The increase pressure and increased oxygen concentration raises the oxygen content in the blood and other tissues.
What does it treat?
Indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:
- Decompression illness
- Air or gas embolism
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome, and other acute traumatic ischemias
- Diabetic foot wounds and other arterial insufficiencies
- Severe anemia
- Intracranial abscess
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections
- Refractory osteomyelitis (chronic bone infections)
- Delayed radiation injury (soft tissue and bone necrosis)
- Compromised grafts and flaps
- Acute thermal burn injury
- Sudden sensorineural hearing loss
Does insurance cover this therapy?
We accept most insurance plans. However, individual plans vary. It is recommended you contact your insurance for information regarding coverage.
Will I need to be seen for a consultation before the start of my first hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Yes, a referral is made by your primary-care physician for all non-emergent cases.
How does my physician refer me to the hyperbaric center?
A referral letter from the primary-care physician (PCP) must be submitted to us requesting consultation. An appointment will then be made with the patient.
Are there any side effects associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Like all medical treatments and procedures, there are some risks associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Generally, patients experience no after-effects from the treatment. However, some patients report a remaining "fullness" in their ears between treatments. If this should continue, a hyperbaric physician will prescribe medication to help relieve this.
On rare occasions, patients receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy develop temporary changes in eyesight. This is usually of short duration and eyesight should return to normal within a few months after the treatment is completed.
The hyperbaric staff will discuss possible complications with you prior to initiation of treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
A typical outpatient treatment schedule is 30 treatments delivered once daily, Monday- Friday, for approximately two hours each session. The number and frequency of treatments vary according to each patient's condition.
Do I have to do anything special prior to being treated?
The only requirement is that you wear the clothes that will be provided to you each day for treatment and that you follow the safety guidelines regarding what may or may not be brought into the chamber (i.e. no hair gels, no make-up, no jewelry).