Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is one of the therapies that we offer at the Brookhaven Wound Care Center. While not every patient is an appropriate candidate for hyperbaric medicine, for those who qualify, it offers a hope for recovery that, beforehand, was not possible.
Hyperbaric treatment is a safe and evidence-based proven way to speed the healing process in certain types of wounds. During the treatments, you breathe 100% oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, quickly increasing the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream, where it is delivered to a patient's wound site for faster healing.
Our conveniently located Center uses hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat a variety of conditions including:
- Diabetic ulcer of the lower extremities.
- Acute arterial insufficiency.
- Gas gangrene.
- Crush injury/acute traumatic peripheral ischemia.
- Progressive necrotizing soft tissue infections (necrotizing fasciitis).
- Chronic refractory osteomyelitis.
- Soft tissue radionecrosis and osteoradionecrosis.
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps.
- Brown recluse spider bites.
How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?
- During the treatments, the patient breathes 100% oxygen inside a pressurized chamber. Your blood carries the extra oxygen to your injured area.
- Essentially, hyperbaric therapy helps heal the wound from the inside out. This therapy can help reduce swelling, fight infection and build new blood vessels, ultimately producing healthy tissue.
- It is also effective in fighting certain types of infections, improving circulation, in stimulating growth of new blood vessels and in treating crush injuries, osteomyelitis, compromised skin grafts and flaps, brown recluse spider bites and diabetic wounds of the lower extremities.
What to Expect
- The hyperbaric therapy technician will take your vital signs and listen to your lungs. The inside of your ears will be examined. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar will be checked. Safety checks will be done before each treatment.
- The treatment is not painful. At the beginning, you may feel pressure in your ears. Like when you fly in a plane of drive up into the mountains. You may have to clear your ears. The HBOT staff will instruct on methods for clearing your ears: swallow, yawn or open and close your mouth.
- Once at treatment depth, you will remain there for a prescribed amount of time (usually 90 minutes). The chambers are constructed of acrylic, allowing a clear view inside and outside of the chamber.
- Treatment is every day Monday through Friday. The number of physician-prescribed treatments depends on the patient’s condition and response to therapy. Most patients receive between 30 and 40 treatments.
What are the most common reasons a wound doesn't heal?
There are usually many factors involved, with the most common including: infection/inflammation, recurring trauma associated with incomplete pressure off-loading, malnutrition, inadequate blood supply, an underlying debilitating chronic medical disease such as diabetes and inadequate medical care.
How does a doctor determine if a patient's wound needs specialized care?
Patient who have an open wound and do not appear to be progressing in a timely fashion, especially if they have been diagnosed with diabetes or have poor circulation, should obtain a prompt evaluation at a comprehensive wound care center. Often the wounds fail to mount an adequate response to infection and inflammation.
What's the most important advice for a nonhealing wound?
Poor health choices may negatively impact healing outcomes. Cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and noncompliance with recommended daily care have all been implicated in poor healing outcomes. Recognizing and correcting these poor health choices is an integral part of successful wound care therapy.
How do I get a consultation from the Wound Care Center?
You may call the Wound Care Center directly or be referred by your doctor. To make an appointment directly, call 631-687-4190.
Will I have to change my primary care doctor or specialist?
No. In fact, the Wound Care Center prefers to work with your physician or medical specialist during the treatments. We even keep your doctor informed with frequent progress reports. While you will be receiving treatment for your wound from the Wound Care Center, you will continue to receive all of your routine care from your primary physician.
Does insurance cover specialized wound care treatments?
Many health plans cover Wound Care Center treatments. Call us to determine what your specific plan covers.
What can I expect at the first appointment?
The first appointment consists of:
- An assessment by our skilled wound care team.
- A review of your medical history.
- Blood tests.
- Recommendations for your treatment plan.
Please be sure to bring to this appointment your medical records, insurance information, a list of current medications and dosage, and a list of your allergies. For the first visit, you should expect to spend several hours at the Center.