If you have diabetes, chances are you are struggling with several factors affecting the health of your lower extremities. You could have vascular disease, peripheral neuropathy, or swelling. In addition, you could be dealing with poor nutrition. All of these complications can damage the healthy tissues in your legs and feet, potentially leading to chronic wounds that do not heal and increase your risk of amputation. Getting more oxygen to those tissues can be an effective weapon in battling those wounds. One way is through hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT); a useful treatment option to promote natural healing by increasing your blood oxygen level.
If you have a foot ulcer or leg wound that is linked to diabetes, you likely know how long these sores can linger. And, the longer they take to heal, the more vulnerable you are to infection and other risks. HBOT is an outpatient therapy which can speed up the healing process and lead to better all-around health.
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a great option for our advanced wound care tool box,” said Stacey D. Valdez, DPM at the wound care center,“ It’s benefits can aid the healing of the most difficult wounds which may lead to limb preservation and amputation prevention.”
During a HBOT visit, patients lie down in a pressurized room or chamber and breathe in 100 percent oxygen. Air pressure is up to three times higher than normal, increasing the amount of oxygen transported to the blood stream. The increased pressure forces oxygen to dissolve into your blood by a 10 – 13 fold increase.
HBO Overview (English)
HBO Overview (Spanish)
Research and clinical experiences show this therapy can reduce the presence of certain non-healing wounds and speed up how quickly they improve. A Journal of Anesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology study followed 30 individuals with chronic non-healing wounds for 30 days. Those participants treated with HBO therapy saw a 59% reduction in wound area. Patients treated with more conventional therapies only saw a 26% improvement. Other studies also showed HBO therapy can improve the condition of these wounds. Based on these study outcomes, patients who received HBO therapy saw foot ulcer improvement at six weeks.
Since HBOT increases the amount of oxygen delivered to your tissues that do not get enough, it can reduce swelling and the size of vein wounds. This can be helpful if you have poor circulation due to diabetes. Additionally, higher oxygen levels help your body produce more white blood cells to kill bacteria, and it can maximize the effect of some antibiotics. With more oxygen in your blood, your body can fight off infection better, stimulate the production of stem cells for greater healing, and can prompt the growth of new blood vessels to wounded tissues.
Here To Help Heal Wounds
If you or a loved one are interested in utilizing HBOT to heal a slow healing wound, schedule an appointment with our Center for Advanced Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine. The highly skilled team provides a comprehensive approach to treating patients with non-healing wounds. The center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm and is located at 413 N Poplar Ave., Montebello, CA 90640. For more information about wound care, diabetes assistance, or to schedule an appointment, please call (323) 725-5066 or visit online at http://bit.ly/bhwcare1