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How HBOT Works

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that involves breathing a very high concentration of oxygen in a pressurized chamber. This extra oxygen has several beneficial effects:

  • Increases natural healing processes
  • Gets oxygen to damaged areas lacking it
  • Stimulates natural infection fighting processes

How Wounds Heal

Wound healing is a four stage process:

  • Hemostasis – the body releases clotting agents to stop bleeding
  • Inflammation – the body releases infection fighting agents and activates processes to rebuild damaged blood vessels, tissue and skin
  • Proliferation (aka Granulation) – the new tissue network is created
  • Maturation (aka Remodeling) – the structure of the new scar tissue gets stronger

This healing process requires oxygen to work effectively. When damaged or diseased tissue cannot receive enough oxygen normally, such as with crush injuries or in patients with poor circulation, healing can be delayed or prevented altogether.

How HBOT Helps Healing

The inflammatory and proliferation phases of healing are strongly dependent on oxygen. HBOT provides a way for enough oxygen to reach injured tissue, which boosts the body’s natural healing process in several ways.

  • Increasing Collagen Production – Fibroblasts are the body’s repair cells, and they create collagen. They are highly dependent on oxygen to do their job of migrating to wounds and producing new connective tissue.
  • Increasing Angiogenesis – Angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels. HBOT stimulates this growth at wound sites, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the injury, which heals it faster.
  • Increasing Oxygenation and Perfusion – Oxygenation is how much oxygen is in the blood. Perfusion is how well it is moving through the capillaries to the body’s tissues. The delivery of oxygen to support healing is greatly increased when a patient breathes a high concentration of oxygen.
  • Improving Bone Regeneration – Osteoblasts are repair cells that build new bone, and they are highly reliant on oxygen to work effectively.

How HBOT Helps Fight Infection

Infections may be part of the problem with a wound that won’t heal, or may be an illness on their own. HBOT has been proven to help fight infection in addition to speeding up healing, which helps healing even more.

  • Increasing White Blood Cells – White blood cells are the front line in the body’s fight against infection. HBOT stimulates their production, which helps the body fight the infection more quickly.
  • Killing Harmful Bacteria – Many bacteria require an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment to survive. This means the oxygen provided by HBOT directly kills some infections, which also supports the work the white blood cells are doing to remove the infection.
  • Supporting Antibiotics – Research has shown that some antibiotics are more effective at curing infections when there are higher oxygen levels in the patient’s body.

How Can HBOT Help You?

Contact us today to learn more about how NexGen Hyperbaric can help you heal.

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The information provided by The Center For Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine LLC & NexGen Hyperbaric LLC does not constitute a medical recommendation. It is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and no claims, either real or implied are being made. Please consult with our physicians or your own physician for a detailed medical evaluation of your own personal and specific health needs and recommendations.