What you need to know about:

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

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Recovery Period:
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Overview of

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

in Thailand

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment in which the patient intermittently breathes 100% oxygen while inside a hyperbaric chamber that is pressurized to greater than sea level pressure (1 atmosphere absolute, or ATA). A hyperbaric chamber is made from high quality transparent acrylic which allows for the delivery of oxygen to the body in higher concentrations than normal. This type of therapy is considered a supplementary therapy and is used in combination with another medical treatment. It is carried out under the close supervision of a physician specializing in hyperbaric medicine and is a non-invasive, painless treatment.

Goals of

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been approved by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) for use in the treatment of the following diseases or indications:  

- Air or Gas Embolism

- Arterial Insufficiencies:

A) Central Retinal Artery Occlusion

B) Enhancement of Healing in Selected Problem Wounds

- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Complicated by Cyanide Poisoning

- Clostridial Myositis and Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)

- Compromised Grafts and Flaps

- Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome and Other Acute Traumatic Ischemias

- Decompression Sickness

- Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis)

- Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss  

-Intracranial Abscess

- Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections

- Osteomyelitis (Refractory)

- Severe Anemia

- Acute Thermal Burn Injury

Price of

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Average Cost

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Price Range

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Pros and cons of

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Pros

-HBOT promotes and stimulates tissue and capillary growth; when the body develops new capillaries, oxygen therapy helps to improve blood flow to organs that lack sufficient oxygen and blood, thus helping wounds to heal more quickly.

-Improves the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria

-Helps to prevent and fight certain types of infections

-Helps to reduce tissue swelling

-Can reduce the size of bubbles in tissues and blood vessels, for example, in cases of air or gas embolism

Cons

-Health-related disadvantages are rare but can include pain or fluid in the ears, temporary vision changes such as nearsightedness, exacerbating a developing cataract, possibly rupturing a lung when the patient holds his breath or does not breathe normally, fatigue, and oxygen toxicity or oxygen intoxication, causing disorientation and breathing difficulties.  

-In rare cases, oxygen toxicity, or poisoning, can occur. Too much oxygen in the body’s tissues can cause convulsions and other complications.

How it works:

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Before providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the doctor will thoroughly examine the patient's physical condition in order to ensure the patient's safety and prevent any possible complications. Once the doctor determines that the patient can safely proceed, the session will be carried out as  follows:  

-Clothing will be provided for the patient to change into.

-The patient will lie on a stretcher that slides into the hyperbaric chamber.

-A physician or nursing professional will release 100% pure oxygen, filling the chamber, and will gradually increase the oxygen pressure to greater than normal. The patient may experience some mild ear popping or ringing at the start. The attending physician or nurse will monitor the patient continuously and will be able to communicate with the patient at any time during the procedure via a speaker attached to the chamber.

-The patient will be able to adjust their posture or position so that they are comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure. They may choose to watch television or simply to sleep and rest while the procedure is taking place.

-The therapy session will last about 60-90 minutes. The number of HBOT treatments the patient will need depends on the purpose of the treatment and how well the patient responds to the therapy.

-Once the session is complete, the physician or nurse will slowly depressurize the chamber to normal atmospheric pressure, and will then help the patient out of the chamber.

-For outpatient cases, the patient can then change back into their clothes and return home without the need for an overnight stay in the hospital.

Preparation before

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Pre - treatment

Only clean cotton clothing is allowed in the chamber. No cosmetics, perfumes, hair preparations, deodorants, wigs or jewelry are allowed in the chamber. The technician needs to know if any medications, including non prescription drugs, are being taken by the patient, and patients are advised not to take alcohol or carbonated drinks for four hours prior to treatment. In most cases, patients should give up smoking and any other tobacco products during their treatment period, as they interfere with the body’s ability to transport oxygen.

Recovery after

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Post - treatment

Once your session is complete, you may feel lightheaded or tired. These symptoms will usually go away after a short period of time. The number of treatments you need depends on the extent of your wound and how well the wound responds to therapy. You are free to go home and resume your normal daily activities.

Risks & side effects

The most common side effect is barotrauma to the ears and sinuses caused by the change in pressure. To minimize this risk, patients learn techniques to promote adequate clearing of the ears during compression or tubes may be inserted in the ears. Occasionally some patients may experience changes in their vision during their treatment period. These changes are usually minor and temporary. A rare side effect is oxygen toxicity which is caused by administering too much oxygen.

FAQs:

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?

Essentially, hyperbaric oxygen treatments use a combination of elevated ambient pressure and inspired oxygen concentration to greatly increase the amount of oxygen in the blood. This elevated oxygen concentration allows oxygenation of tissues that are not getting enough oxygen at baseline, encourages new blood vessels to grow into these oxygen deprived tissues, and helps the body eliminate certain kinds of bacteria.

How many treatments will I need, and how often?

The number and frequency of treatments needed varies with the specific condition that is being treated. For many conditions, one treatment a day (Monday through Friday) is given for a total of 20 to 30 treatments, usually a total of four to six weeks.

Are there different types of hyperbaric chambers?

There are basically two types of chambers: monoplace and multiplace.  Monoplace chambers are designed to treat a single person pressurized with 100% oxygen.  Multiplace chambers are designed to hold several people at one time and oxygen is delivered through a mask or a hood.

What does the procedure feel like?

At the start of the treatment session, oxygen immediately begins to circulate and the pressure gradually increase. The patient will generally start to feel a fullness sensation in the ears, similar to ascending or descending in an airplane. This fullness should only last about 10-15 minutes and an experienced HMS hyperbaric technician will guide the patient to relieve any ear pressure. Once treatment pressure is reached, patients relax and just breathe normally. Near the end of the treatment session, the hyperbaric technician will gradually decrease the pressure in the chamber, a process that lasts about 10 minutes. During this decompression stage, it is common for patients to experience a slight popping sensation in the ears as a result of the change in pressure.

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Thanakorn Chanchucherd
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Aung Moe Thu
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Thamrong Techaumnuywit
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