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diabetic foot

Oxygen is critical to cells functioning properly, particularly when the body is recovering from an injury or illness. Oxygen is also necessary in wound healing.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Oxygen therapy provides the patient with supplemental oxygen to breathe in, which can help speed up healing. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) takes this one step further by administering concentrations of pure oxygen in a chamber with high air pressure.

This hyperbaric oxygen chamber helps the lungs take in more oxygen-which is 100% pure oxygen (as opposed to the air we breathe normally, which is 21% oxygen). Tissues receive heightened levels of pure oxygen which helps to build new blood vessels and eliminate some infections.

What Conditions Do Podiatrists Use Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For?

HBOT is approved by the FDA approved for treating many conditions. Podiatrists that specialize in advanced wound care often use HBOT to treat:

  • Foot ulcers caused by diabetes (DFUs) or peripheral vascular disease
  • Complications after surgery
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gangrene
  • Severe bone or skin infections
  • Compromised skin grafts/flaps

Additionally, HBOT is also beneficial in treating inflammatory conditions, tissue swelling (edema), peripheral arterial thrombosis, and more.

How Do HBOT Treatments Work?

HBOT treatments are simple, painless, and the majority of people find them relaxing and pleasant. How many sessions a patient needs depends on their condition and its severity.

First, the patient is set up in a hyperbaric chamber. They are made to accommodate either:

  • One patient (monoplace) where the patient lies down in a tube-shaped chamber, or
  • Multiple patients (multiplace) where the patients sit in a chair, wearing a hood which connects to a tube.

Once the patient is in place, 100% pure oxygen begins to move into the chamber or hood, while the air pressure gradually increases.

After approximately two hours, the air pressure slowly decreases and the session is over.

Typically, HBOT is not recommended for patients who have recently had an ear injury or surgery, a cold or fever, or various types of lung disease.

Call our office to make an appointment with Dr. Abramsohn to learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and to discuss whether you are a good candidate for it.

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