Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helps deliver oxygen to the body’s tissues faster, which promotes healing. During treatment, patients breathe 100 percent oxygen while enclosed in a clear, specialized chamber at greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can significantly improve healing outcomes for certain wounds.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Chronic wounds
  • Crush injuries
  • Soft tissue infections
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Radiation tissue damage
  • Skin grafts and flaps
  • Diabetic wounds
  • Acute traumatic injury

South Shore Health System Center for Wound Healing’s hyperbaric chambers are designed for patient comfort. Before starting treatment, our team will meet with you to explain the procedure, discuss your overall treatment plan, and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Prior to entering the chamber, you will be given a 100 percent cotton gown to wear during your treatment. No other clothing items are allowed inside the hyperbaric oxygen treatment chamber for safety reasons. 

You will spend the two-hour treatment comfortably resting on a bed inside a transparent, double-acrylic chamber. You will be able to see outside the chamber at all times. A hyperbaric specialist will closely monitor you throughout the procedure. You will be able to communicate with your specialist via an intercom. 

Oxygen will begin to circulate within the chamber causing a gradual increase in pressure and a temporary rise in temperature. Once the desired pressure is reached, your technician will adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable.

As a result of the increased pressure, you may experience fullness in your ears similar to the sensation you might feel in an airplane or driving up and down a mountain road. Your technician will suggest ways you can reduce the pressure and relieve any discomfort.

You can relax, sleep, watch television or videos or listen to music or an audiobook. For safety reasons, books or other reading materials are not permitted inside the HBO chamber. Cell phones are also prohibited. 

Please let the staff know if you have a cough or cold, the flu, a sore throat, chills, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea before coming in for your appointment Also be sure to let the staff know of any changes in medications you are taking.

If you have diabetes, be sure to eat properly and continue your prescribed medications (including insulin) during your course of hyperbaric treatment. Your blood sugar will be checked before and after each treatment at the Wound Center.

You may experience temporary vision changes that should subside a few weeks after your therapy is complete. You may also experience fatigue. Both are normal side effects.

Please allow up to two and a half hours for each visit.

Typically, yes. Your care team will let you know if it would not be safe for you to drive.