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What is hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy?

Maui Memorial Medical Center Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy
95 Maui Lani Parkway, Suite B
Wailuku, HI, 96793
808.986.4500
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From Kaahumanu Avenue, turn onto Maui Lani Parkway. Pass straight through the first traffic light, then take the first left into the clinic parking lot.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment in which the patient breathes 100% pure oxygen while inside a pressurized chamber. The air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is about two and a half times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. This "hyperbaric" (or high pressure) dose of oxygen helps your blood carry more oxygen to your organs and tissues to promote wound healing. It also activates the white blood cells to fight infection.

Patients typically receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy five days a week for approximately four to six weeks. One treatment takes about two hours and is quite comfortable for most patients.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be used as part of the treatment for certain conditions, including the following:

  • Slow-to-heal or non-healing wounds
  • Foot or leg ulcers or wounds
  • Non-healing surgical wounds
  • Non-healing skin grafts or surgical flaps
  • Symptoms occurring on or around a point of radiation (such as pain, rectal or bladder bleeding)
  • Bone infection, also called osteomyelitis
  • Crush injuries

Preparing for hyperbaric oxygen therapy

A Maui Memorial Medical Center Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy staff member will tell you how many treatments you will need. During your treatment, you may watch television, a movie or take a nap.

You will be given a hospital gown to wear in the chamber. No cosmetics, perfumes, hair preparations, deodorants, wigs, jewelry or electronic devices are allowed in the chamber. Most pacemakers are allowed in the chamber. The hyperbaric technologist will need to know if you are taking any medications, including non-prescription drugs. You are advised not to drink alcohol or carbonated beverages for four hours prior to treatment.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products interferes with the body's ability to transport oxygen. Therefore, your doctor will work with you on techniques to help stop smoking during the treatment period.

Following your treatment plan is the single most important factor in your healing.

Have questions about a hyperbaric oxygen therapy procedure? Contact us at 808.986.4500 or woundcare@mauihealth.org to find out more about what to expect.

Click here to download information on hyperbaric oxygen therapy.