Hyperbaric oxygen therapy patient at Limb Preservation Center of East Tennessee

What Conditions Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treat?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a cutting-edge treatment option for a diverse range of health conditions. It can be used as a tool to prevent amputation in patients with limb-threatening wounds, help cancer survivors heal from radiation damage, and reduce complications from serious infections.

HBOT offers hope to individuals with chronic wounds or complex health challenges that haven’t found relief elsewhere. At Limb Preservation Center of East Tennessee in Lenoir City, TN, we are proud to house two state-of-the-art HBOT chambers and make this therapy accessible to patients in need.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Patient and HBOT technician smiling by hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an advanced medical treatment that involves breathing 100% pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The increased air pressure allows your lungs to gather more oxygen than would normally be possible, leading to a higher oxygen content in your blood.

HBOT has been shown to promote healing and fight certain infections by:

  • Delivering oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-starved tissue
  • Blocking some bacterial toxins
  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Stimulating growth of new blood vessels, skin cells, and collagen

What Conditions Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treat?

There are 15 approved indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as recognized by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS)/Medicare. These include:

  • Air gas embolism
  • Infected diabetic wounds, some wounds from blocked arteries (arterial insufficiencies)
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Gas gangrene
  • Compromised skin grafts and flaps
  • Acute traumatic wounds
  • Decompression sickness
  • Radiation (soft tissue and bony necrosis)
  • Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL)
  • Intracranial abscess
  • Necrotizing infections
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
  • Severe anemia
  • Burns
  • Aseptic osteonecrosis

We focus on treating chronic diabetic wounds, radiation treatment damage, and more approved conditions with HBOT at Limb Preservation Center of East Tennessee. Insurance covers all or part of treatments for the FDA-approved indications. However, we do offer cash pay options for patients who have certain diagnoses that may benefit from HBOT but may not qualify for insurance coverage.

Diabetic Wounds

Limb-threatening diabetic wounds, including non-healing diabetic foot ulcers, can significantly benefit from HBOT. These wounds are typically resistant to traditional treatments, but often improve when exposed to the oxygen-rich environment inside the chambers.

Radiation Treatment Damage

If you’re experiencing radiation burns or other damage to your soft tissue, bone, or oral cavity resulting from radiation therapy, HBOT can help. It promotes tissue repair, reduces inflammation, and aids in the recovery process post-radiation treatment.

Compromised Skin Grafts and Flaps

A skin graft or flap refers to a patch of healthy skin that is surgically transplanted to another area of the body that has experienced tissue damage, in order to cover the damaged skin and promote healing. Following skin graft surgery, you may have compromised skin grafts and flaps that are at risk of tissue death. By enhancing oxygen delivery to tissues, HBOT supports the healing process and improves the chances of skin grafting success.

Crush Injuries

Crush injuries, characterized by severe tissue damage and often associated with trauma or accidents, can benefit from HBOT. It aids in tissue recovery, reducing swelling, and minimizing complications. 

Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a dangerous and painful condition that occurs when there is increased pressure within the muscles. It is typically caused by serious injuries that lead to intense swelling or internal bleeding. HBOT helps manage compartment syndrome by improving blood flow and preserving limb function.

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL)

SNHL refers to a rapid loss of hearing due to inner ear damage. HBOT can help improve blood flow to the inner ear, reduce inflammation, and enhance tissue repair, potentially restoring hearing function in some cases of SNHL.

Acute Peripheral Ischemia

Acute peripheral ischemia is a sudden decrease in blood flow to the extremities that threatens limb viability. In order to preserve the limb, HBOT increases oxygen delivery to the affected area and promotes the formation of new blood vessels.

Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis

Chronic refractory osteomyelitis is a persistent bone infection that hasn’t responded well to other treatments. HBOT can enhance the oxygen levels in the infected bone, which blocks bacterial toxins and stimulates repair.

Necrotizing Infections

Necrotizing infections, also known as flesh-eating diseases, are rare conditions that cause rapid tissue death. By strengthening your immune system and inhibiting bacterial growth, HBOT has been shown to improve patient outcomes.

In addition to what they are specifically being treated for, many HBOT patients have also noticed:

  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Improved blood pressure
  • And more benefits!

How Often Should You Do Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Dr. Heather Hutchings

The frequency and duration of hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions can vary depending on the specific condition being treated and individual patient factors. Our hyperbaric oxygen therapy patients typically undergo 30 sessions, with one session per day over a period of 6 weeks. 

In one HBOT session, it takes around 10 minutes to get to depth (compress), 60-90 minutes for treatment, and 10 minutes to decompress for a total treatment time of two hours. However, session timing depends on your personal availability and individual needs. 

This HBOT schedule provides optimal healing for chronic wounds, radiation burns, infections, and other injuries. However, it’s essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, like Heather Hutchings, D.O., to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific condition.

About Our Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chambers

At Limb Preservation Center of East Tennessee, we house two state-of-the-art HBOT chambers to treat patients with various conditions. These chambers are:

  • Hard-sided monoplace chambers with clear sides
  • 7 ft+ in length
  • 31”-36” in diameter

In order to make your HBOT session as comfortable as possible, our chambers also have an entertainment system with movies and TV shows that you can watch during treatment. It is quiet in the room during operation, so many patients doze off and take a nap.

Our HBOT Technician stays in the room and can communicate with our patients while they are in the chambers to address any questions they may have. Your safety and comfort are our top priorities!

Ready to start your healing journey? Contact us today to schedule a consultation and determine if your medical condition qualifies for HBOT!

Start Healing Today with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

At Limb Preservation Center of East Tennessee, we provide HBOT to our patients that suffer from non-healing wounds, radiation burns, chronic infections, or other bodily damage that hasn’t responded well to conventional treatments. With two state-of-the-art HBOT chambers, we offer accessible care to patients across Lenoir City, Loudon, Knoxville, and beyond.

Limb Preservation Center of East Tennessee is the newest and most advanced wound care practice in Lenoir City, Tennessee. Are you looking for experienced wound care that’s convenient and near home? Call Limb Preservation Center of East Tennessee at 865-770-5462 to arrange a comprehensive chronic wound evaluation with our wound healing experts.

Schedule Your Appointment

Ready to take your first step towards healing? Experience the compassionate and personalized care you deserve. Call our office to schedule your appointment today!