Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a specialized treatment in which you breathe 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized space called a hyperbaric chamber. We increase the atmospheric pressure in the HBOT chamber to 2.4 times greater than normal (2.4 atmospheres).

HBOT is used to treat wounds, infections and air or gas bubbles in the blood (embolism). Breathing oxygen in this environment:

  • Increases the amount of oxygen in the blood
  • Promotes the body’s healing process by helping tiny new blood vessels form
  • Enhances the body’s infection-fighting capabilities

Why choose Henry Ford for hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Henry Ford Health System has offered HBOT since 1988. Our doctors and technicians have exceptional experience in providing this unique therapy. You can be confident that you are receiving safe, effective treatment, because we offer:

  • Physicians with lung and hyperbaric medicine expertise: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine is a medical specialty that requires additional fellowship training. Henry Ford’s hyperbaric program is overseen by an experienced, board-certified physician with specialized training in pulmonary (lung) physiology and hyperbaric medicine.
  • Experienced respiratory therapists: Henry Ford’s respiratory therapists have specialized training and extensive experience operating our hyperbaric chamber.
  • Safety compliance: We perform all regular upkeep and maintenance on the chamber per manufacturer guidelines. You can be assured that our HBOT chamber meets all safety standards.
  • Convenient access: Our chamber is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Who can Henry Ford help with hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

HBOT has many uses, because it encourages the body’s tissues to heal and regenerate. We follow treatment guidelines developed by the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Society (UHMS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These organizations have approved HBOT for:

  • Chronic wounds: HBOT commonly treats non-healing wounds, including diabetic ulcers, which may not respond to typical wound-healing therapies. If you have a wound that hasn’t healed in many weeks or even months, talk to your wound care specialist about hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Learn more about wound care.
  • Infections: HBOT can improve many types of infections, including gangrene, abscesses, soft tissue infections such as necrotizing fasciitis, and chronic bone infection/osteomyelitis (infection of bone marrow).
  • Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL): HBOT can help restore this type of sudden hearing loss.
  • Late effects of radiation: Some people develop health issues or complications from radiation therapy for cancer. We use HBOT to treat:
    • Radiation or hemorrhagic cystitis (radiation-induced inflammation of the bladder)
    • Radiation proctitis or enteritis (infection or inflammation of the rectum)
    • Chronic incomplete surgical healing, which may occur in patients who receive radiation therapy to a site where they had recent surgery to remove cancerous tissue, such as with failed breast flap wounds.
    • Osteoradionecrosis (damage when a bone doesn’t heal after radiation, particularly in the jaw)
  • Prevention of osteoradionecrosis: HBOT can help avoid osteoradionecrosis in patients needing dental surgery after having radiation to the head or neck.
  • Vascular insufficiency: People with severe peripheral arterial disease (PAD) may be at risk of losing a toe, foot or leg. Hyperbarics can sometimes help limit the amount of tissue needing amputation. Learn about our PAD clinic.
  • Medical clearance for diving: We provide medical certification for people who dive for work or recreation. If you have asthma, COPD or any lung condition, make an appointment to get medical clearance before diving.

What to expect from hyperbaric oxygen therapy

You will undergo a specialized medical consultation and clearance to start hyperbaric therapy. A typical course of HBOT is 20 to 30 treatments or more if indicated. Each treatment takes about two hours. Most people receive HBOT every day, Monday through Friday, for four to six weeks. If you are receiving HBOT for wound care, you will still need to continue visits with the wound clinic to manage your wounds.

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Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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