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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Wound Healing

hyperbaric oxygen therapy wound healing

Wound healing is a complex process that our bodies undergo after injury, surgery, or other trauma. In some cases, however, wounds may become chronic and resist conventional treatments. 

Fortunately, advancements in medical technology have given rise to innovative therapies like Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), which have shown remarkable results in aiding wound healing.

In this blog post, we will explore the science behind hyperbaric oxygen therapy wound healing.

Understanding Wound Healing

Before delving into the intricacies of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, it is essential to understand how our bodies naturally heal wounds. Wound healing occurs in several distinct phases:


Immediately after injury, blood vessels constrict to control bleeding. Platelets then form a clot to prevent further blood loss.


In this stage, the body sends immune cells to the wound site to clean out debris and bacteria, preventing infection.


During this phase, new tissue forms to cover the wound, and blood vessels supply necessary nutrients and oxygen to promote healing.


The final stage involves the restructuring and strengthening of the new tissue, leading to improved wound closure and reduced scarring.

The Role of Oxygen in Wound Healing

Oxygen plays a vital role in the wound healing process. Adequate oxygen supply is necessary for various cellular activities involved in tissue repair.

However, some wounds may have compromised blood flow and reduced oxygen availability, hindering the healing process. In such cases, HBOT can be a game-changer.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a medical treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurised chamber, significantly higher than the normal atmospheric pressure.

This increased pressure allows the body to absorb a higher concentration of oxygen, enabling it to reach tissues with limited blood flow effectively.

How HBOT Boosts Wound Healing

Enhanced Oxygen Supply: 

The primary mechanism of HBOT lies in its ability to deliver oxygen to tissues that are otherwise poorly perfused. The increased oxygen levels stimulate cellular activities necessary for wound healing.

Reduced Inflammation: 

HBOT has been shown to decrease inflammation and swelling at the wound site, which, in turn, fosters a more conducive environment for tissue regeneration.

Angiogenesis Promotion: 

The therapy encourages the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), which enhances blood flow to the wound, facilitating nutrient and oxygen delivery.

Improved White Blood Cell Function: 

HBOT enhances the function of white blood cells, enabling a more effective defense against infection and bacteria.

Conditions Benefiting from HBOT

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been approved and utilised for various medical conditions, including:

Non-healing Wounds: 

Diabetic foot ulcers, pressure sores, and other chronic wounds often respond positively to HBOT when standard treatments prove ineffective.

Radiation Injuries: 

HBOT can help alleviate the side effects of radiation therapy, such as tissue damage and delayed wound healing.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: 

The therapy quickly reduces carbon monoxide levels in the blood, improving patient outcomes.

Decompression Sickness:

HBOT is used in diving-related illnesses, such as the bends, to accelerate the elimination of nitrogen bubbles from the body.

Gas Gangrene: 

The increased oxygen levels in HBOT combat the bacteria responsible for gas gangrene, a life-threatening infection.

Scientific Evidence and Studies

The effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in wound healing has been extensively studied and documented in the medical community. Several research studies have demonstrated its benefits:

  • A study published in the Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery in 2020 revealed that HBOT significantly accelerated wound healing in patients with non-healing ulcers.
  • Another research published in Advances in Wound Care found that HBOT led to improved wound closure rates in diabetic foot ulcers.
  • A meta-analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Adelaide in 2018 reviewed 26 studies involving 1,084 patients and concluded that HBOT positively influenced wound healing and reduced the risk of amputation.
  • At the Oxygen Centre, we have our own case study showing the remarkable benefits of using HBOT for healing wounds: Case Study: Wendy’s Remarkable Recovery with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Safety and Side Effects

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is generally considered safe when administered by qualified medical professionals.

However, some side effects may occur, including ear pressure, sinus discomfort, and temporary vision changes. These effects are usually mild and resolve shortly after the session ends.

It is essential for patients to disclose their medical history and any pre-existing conditions to the healthcare provider before starting HBOT to ensure its appropriateness and safety.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a remarkable medical intervention that harnesses the power of oxygen to promote wound healing and recovery. From diabetic foot ulcers to radiation injuries, HBOT has shown its effectiveness in various conditions, offering hope to patients with chronic or non-healing wounds. 

As ongoing research continues to shed light on the therapeutic benefits of HBOT, it is evident that this innovative treatment holds tremendous promise in the realm of wound care.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a wound that refuses to heal, consulting a healthcare professional experienced in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy could be the transformative solution needed to facilitate the healing journey. We are based in Plymouth, Devon. Please get in touch with us today for more information.

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