Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment in which the patient breathes 100% pure oxygen intermittently while inside an enclosed chamber.

2. What is a hyperbaric chamber?

The chambers used at The Center for Advanced Wound Care are designed for one person (monoplace). The patient reclines on a padded stretcher that slides into a large round clear acrylic hull.  The chamber is quite comfortable and is designed to conduct safe treatments while maximizing patient comfort. You will be constantly monitored  and will have audio communications with the attendant while in the chamber. You can also choose to watch television while having your treatment.

3. How does it work?
Lying on a stretcher in a large clear acrylic tube-like chamber, 100% oxygen is delivered up to three times higher than normal air pressure. The patient breathes the oxygen which saturates the patient’s blood. This increased oxygen activity enhances the body’s ability to heal.

4. How does it feel?
Air pressure is raised approximately two to three times the normal air pressure which creates a temporary feeling of fullness in your ears – similar to what you might feel in an airplane or at a high elevation.  You can relieve this feeling by yawning.

5. How often do I need to come?
The number of hyperbaric sessions will depend on the condition being treated. Generally you will require between 20-40 treatments and will have these treatments at the same time daily from Monday-Friday.

6. How long is the treatment session?
A session may last from one to two hours.

7. Are there side effects?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally a safe procedure but like any medication or medical treatment there are potential side effects or risks associated; however they are usually rare and temporary.  Some potential side effects and risks are:

  • Discomfort in the Ears
  • Pulmonary Barotraumas
  • Oxygen Toxicity
  • Myopia
  • Maturing or Ripening Cateracts
  • Presbyopia
  • Numb Fungers
  • Serous Otitis
  • Fatigue
  • Hypoglycemia

8.  Can I drive myself to and from my appointment?

Throughout the course of your treatment you may experience changes in your visual acuity and fatigue levels.  We recommend that you do not operate vehicles or other heavy machinery while undergoing treatments.

9.  Can I eat and drink before my treatment?

Metabolism is increased by the high levels of oxygen during treatment and this can result in low blood sugar levels occurring during or just after treatment, particularly in diabetic patients.  To avoid this, all patients are advised to have something substantial and balanced to eat in the hour before treatment.  If you feel nauseous or have been unable to eat for any reason, please tell a member of the staff before the treatment begins.

10. Can I self refer or must I have a physician referral?
Physician referral is preferred for continuity of care.  In addition to the treatments, we will teach you and your family proper techniques for caring for your wounds. 

11.  Is the treatment covered by insurance?

Your treatment may qualify for funding under Medicare or private insurance.  This will be discussed with you during your initial assessment and the staff will work with your to obtain any pre-authorization.

 


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