Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Successful at Healing Wounds

Author: Lindsey Ulrich


“The pressure increases the oxygen and how far it travels in the tissue promoting faster and more effective healing."


Oxygen is essential for life and is a key factor in tissue growth and healing. When tissue is damaged, additional oxygen is needed for the wound to heal. Exposing a wound to 100% oxygen may speed up healing and that is where hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment used to enhance the body’s natural healing ability for wounds. Common conditions that can benefit from HBOT include treating diabetic wounds, complications from radiation therapy, chronic bone infections and non-healing skin grafts or flaps.

During HBOT, the patient breathes pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, which enables the lungs to gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at a normal air pressure.

 “The pressure increases the blood oxygen in to your plasma, getting more oxygen to the tissues,” said Mark Jones, DO,  general surgeon at Lansing Surgical Associates, who serves as medical director to the Wound Clinic and Hyperbaric Center at McLaren Greater Lansing. “The pressure also increases the oxygen and how far it travels in the tissue promoting faster and more effective healing.”

McLaren Greater Lansing is home to monoplace chambers, an enclosed chamber with clear acrylic walls and holds one patient at a time. On average, patients undergo 40 treatments, with each dive lasting two hours per session. 

“We call them dives because you are going under pressure at 100% oxygen, just as you were taking a deep dive underwater,” said Dr. Jones.

During therapy, patients may feel pressure in their ears similar to the sensation often felt on a flight. A patient may also notice the air temperature fluctuate while pressure builds and then normalize once the chamber has met the prescribed treatment. While under pressure, patients typically watch movies, listen to music, or simply sleep.  

“We have seen a lot of success using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to those who qualify and can benefit from the treatment,” said Dr. Jones.

Most insurance plans cover hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but a physician referral and prior authorization may be required.

For those interested in hyperbaric oxygen therapy and whether you may be a candidate for treatment, contact McLaren Greater Lansing’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center at (517) 975-1500 or click here to learn more.