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Hyperbaric Medicine and Technology (HBOT) at UPMC in Central Pa.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was originally used to treat scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness. Since then HBOT has been shown to be highly effective in treating a number of conditions.

The combination of increased atmospheric pressure and breathing in concentrated oxygen significantly increases the amount of oxygen dissolved in your blood. This provides increased oxygen to the tissues in your body and leads to new tissue growth and healing.

HBOT is often used with medication, physical therapy, or the removal of nonliving tissue to treat a number of conditions, including:

  • Actinomycosis. A bacterial disease that affects the face and neck.
  • Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia. A condition caused by an injury that interrupts blood flow to an extremity.
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis. A failure to heal despite adequate treatment.
  • Compromised skin grafts and flaps. Treatment helps limit swelling and increases the chances of a successful graft.
  • Diabetic wounds of the lower extremity. Wounds that are complicated by diabetes in the foot or lower leg.
  • Osteoradionecrosis. A complication of radiation therapy that causes bone death.
  • Radiation cystitis. A complication of radiation therapy to pelvic tumors.
  • Radiation proctitis. Is inflammation and damage to the lower parts of the colon after exposure to x-rays or other ionizing radiation as a part of radiation therapy.
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis. A complication of radiation therapy that causes the death of soft tissues.
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What To Expect During Therapy

When you arrive at the Wound Center you will be asked to change into a cotton gown. Makeup, jewelry and hairspray are not permitted. After you have changed, you will recline in our transparent oxygen chamber.

During your treatment, you will be monitored by one of our trained technicians. A phone inside the chamber allows you to communicate with our staff at any time. You can watch TV or take a nap while inside the chamber.

If your treatment plan includes HBOT, our specialists will take the time to provide detailed information about the process and answer any questions you may have.

Our HBOT Physicians

Each physician that is credentialed in hyperbaric oxygen therapy services has completed the following:

  • Successful completion of an Accreditation Council for graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or American Osteopathic Association (AOA) accredited residency in a relevant medical or surgical specialty, followed by a training program in hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) of 40 hours approved by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) or the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine.
  • Continuing education credit is required every two years in the amount of 12 CME hours, relevant to Hyperbaric Oxygen Medicine. 

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