HBO but NOT the Home Box Office Version

Have you ever heard someone talking about HBO therapy? If so, did you wonder if watching hours upon hours of HBO is a viable medical treatment? If only. What you heard was not Home Box Office therapy, but Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy.

HBO has been around since the 1930s. It was originally used to treat deep sea divers after being under the influence of the crushing pressures of the ocean. A diver might experience what is called the Bends, if he/she was to resurface too quickly. Hyperbaric was utilized to recompress the diver. In the 1960s, physicians began to find use of HBO to assist and speed wound healing. Special chambers were created in order to alter and control pressure.

The Science of HBO is not too difficult to understand, but I wont go into great detail. The goal is to increase the carrying capacity of oxygen in the blood by changing the pressure and forcing more oxygen in. This increase in oxygen, along with other physiologic changes caused by HBO, increases the healing potential of a wound.

When placed in a chamber, you will breathe 100% oxygen as pressure is steadily increased. After the treatment protocol, you will gradually be recompressed to prevent decompression sickness (The Bends).

HBO has been indicated for many types of problems such as:

  • Decompression sickness
  • CO poisoning
  • Necrotizing fasciitis
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Compromised flaps and grafts
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infections)
  • Diabetic foot ulcers that have failed conservative treatment

HBO is a great tool to have at your physicians disposal.

If you have further questions about HBO, or are in need of foot/ankle care, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886.

Photo credit: think4photop via

Category: General

Tags: Bone Infection, Diabetic Ulcer, HBO Treatment