Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing 100 percent oxygen in an enclosed chamber at high atmospheric pressures. The process delivers pure oxygen quickly to injured areas. HBOT increases tissue oxygenation and stimulates the growth of new blood vessels to heal chronic wounds and certain infections.

HBOT is offered at Edward Hospital’s Wound Healing Center.

Who benefits from HBOT?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is often used to treat:
  • Diabetic ulcers of the feet and legs
  • Insufficient blood flow to tissues (acute peripheral arterial insufficiency)
  • Bone infection (chronic refractory osteomyelitis)
  • Complications following radiation therapy (including osteoradionecrosis and soft tissue radionecrosis)
  • Preparation and preservation of compromised skin grafts

To qualify for treatment, patients must go through at least 30 days of conventional wound treatment and have enough blood flow to the wound area to make therapy viable.

What happens during HBOT?

During HBOT, you’ll sit or lie down in a special chamber, where you can watch TV or movies, listen to music or use other techniques to relax. We’ll provide you with instructions to clear the fullness in your ears and relieve any discomfort that may accompany the gradual rise of pressure in the chamber.

You’ll be able to speak with the HBOT technician through a speaker and take short breaks to breathe room air through a mask every 45 minutes.

How many HBOT treatments are needed?

Although schedules vary, most treatments are administered during two-hour sessions several times a week. Some conditions require a treatment period of 10 days or less, while chronic conditions often require therapy over a few weeks. The average person receives 25 to 30 treatments over five to six weeks.

Is HBOT covered by insurance?

Almost all health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, reimburse patients who are treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for accepted disorders like those outlined above. Check with your insurance company to learn about required referrals or authorizations, and bring your insurance card to your first appointment.

Take the next step

To schedule HBOT treatment or to learn about wound healing at Edward-Elmhurst Health, call us at:

  • Edward: 630-527-3002