Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves exposing the body to 100% oxygen at a pressure that is greater than what you normally experience. Wounds need oxygen to heal properly, and exposing a wound to 100% oxygen can, in some cases, speed the healing process.

Procedure overview

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be done in a number of ways. Here at the Wound Healing Center, you are in a monoplace single person chamber with exposure to 100% oxygen, delivered at high pressure or under compression.

Reasons for the procedure

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used for certain types of wounds. Some of these are:

  • Radiation injury to soft tissue or bone
  • Radiation cystitis
  • Radiation proctitis
  • ORN-osteoradionecrosis
  • Dental caries due to radiation
  • Chronic refractory bone infection
  • Compromised skin grafts and flaps
  • Diabetes-related wounds

Ask your provider if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is appropriate for your condition, particularly if you have diabetes-related wounds

Risks of the procedure

Side effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are extremely rare but include:

  • Pressure-related trauma to your ears or sinuses
  • Nearsightedness (This usually resolves within days to weeks after the last treatment.)
  • Oxygen toxicity

Share your complete medical history with your provider to make certain hyperbaric oxygen therapy is safe for you.

During the procedure

Some facilities have a large hyperbaric oxygen chamber that can treat up to a dozen people at a time. Our center has monoplace chambers designed to treat one person at a time.

Here is what usually happens during a hyperbaric oxygen therapy session:

  • You will be asked to remove your clothing and wear a medical gown.
  • A physician will evaluate you prior to each treatment.
  • You will lie on a comfortable surface that slides into the monoplace chamber. This is a clear acrylic tube that’s about 7-feet long.
  • You will be asked to relax and breathe normally during the treatment.
  • You can watch TV or listen to music.
  • You will be able to see and talk to the technologist/nurse at any time during the treatment. The technologist/nurse can see you and talk to you at all times.
  • The chamber will be closed and then filled with pressurized oxygen.
  • The pressure will rise 2 to 2.5 times the normal air pressure. You may experience some ear discomfort. This is completely normal.
  • The session will last approximately two hours.
  • After the therapy, technicians will slowly depressurize the chamber.

After the procedure

Once your hyperbaric oxygen therapy session is complete, a physician will evaluate you.

The number of hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments you will need depends on the extent of your treatment plan and how well you respond to therapy.

Technologies for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

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What to Expect for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

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Side Effects and Risk Factors for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

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Education and Resources for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

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Learn more about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Vidant Health can connect you to health care professionals to help you understand your condition and guide you through the treatment process. Let’s chat.

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