The Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital provides unsurpassed levels of care in a setting where your health and comfort are foremost.
HBO therapy provides 100% oxygen (compared to the 21% oxygen found in room air) in a chamber with increased pressure. The pressurized air inside the HBO chamber can be compressed up to three times the pressure found at sea level (similar to diving underwater down to 66 feet). This combination of high pressure and pure oxygen increases the concentration of oxygen in bloodstream, which permeates deep into body tissues to help promote healing.
Originally, this treatment was used to help divers who developed decompression sickness from surfacing too quickly, commonly called "the bends." The treatment is still used to treat decompression sickness, but it was discovered HBO was beneficial to help treat other conditions, including:
Other conditions: Depending on the condition, HBO therapy may be beneficial in conjunction with other treatments. Our team of doctors will work with your physician to develop the best care plan for your optimal health.
HBO therapy requires a chest X-ray prior to starting treatment. Other diagnostic tests may be required to determine if HBO therapy is appropriate for you (e.g., a transcutaneous oxygen measurement, bone scan, or magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]). Any additional testing will be determined on an individual basis.
HBO therapy is generally painless. You can sit or recline comfortably during the treatment in a large glass covered chamber while resting or watching television.
You will notice a sense of fullness in the ears at the beginning and end of treatment as the pressure is adjusted. This sensation is similar to that which is felt when flying in an airplane or diving under water. You will be taught a simple technique to relieve ear pressure and avoid any discomfort. Some patients will hear a crackling noise in their ears between treatments, which can be relieved using the same technique. If the crackling noise persists, it should be reported to the staff.
Some patients may feel light-headed after treatment, which is usually very brief.
Some patients may develop changes in eyesight (e.g., temporary nearsightedness [myopia] caused by the increased blood oxygen levels). In these cases, vision should return to pretreatment status eight weeks after the completion of treatments. There are other less common adverse effects, which will be discussed before treatment begins. Continuous supervision and monitoring during treatment are provided by a multidisciplinary staff of registered nurses and respiratory therapists.
You may require several treatments. The number will depend on your specific condition and response to HBO therapy. In general:
We accept most insurance plans. Prior to treatment, insurance precertification will be obtained. We are not able to treat conditions that are not authorized by your insurance carrier. HBO therapy must be prescribed by a physician for a specific condition.
For your comfort and safety: