Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy involves breathing 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber to support wound healing.

How it works

The air we breathe is a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, and other gases. During therapy, the air inside the hyperbaric chamber is increased to 100% oxygen. Breathing pure oxygen under pressure causes much more oxygen to be dissolved in the blood and subsequently, the rest of the body. This can improve wound healing by: 

  • Reducing swelling
  • Keeping infection under control
  • Stimulating new blood vessel growth

What conditions can be treated with HBO?

  • Problem wounds that won’t heal with conventional therapy
  • Skin grafts and flaps that are infected or have not healed
  • Bones and Tissue that once received radiation
  • Bone that has been infected by bacteria

What is it like inside the chamber?

The chamber is big enough for a patient to lay down, and it is equipped with a large acrylic tube with windows so staff can monitor patients during treatment sessions. Patients and staff are able to communicate through an intercom system.

Frequency and duration

The number of HBO treatments required varies depending on the patient’s condition. We offer treatments Monday through Friday. Each treatment lasts two hours.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects are uncommon but may include discomfort in the ear and/or discomfort or pressure injuries to the lungs. Some patients may also experience visual changes causing nearsightedness (myopia); this is usually temporary and disappears within one or two months of finishing therapy.

How will it feel?

The first few minutes will be noisy as pressurized gas enters the chamber. It will seem warm at first before adjusting to a comfortable temperature. Patients will feel the change of pressure in their ears, similar to when descending in an airplane.

During treatment, patients are able to watch movies, listen to music, or just close their eyes and relax. At the end of the treatment, the chamber pressure is reduced, the air will feel colder, and patients will feel their ears “popping.”