INTRODUCTION TO BAKERSFIELD HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY
Our office is proud to offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Patients come to our Bakersfield plastic surgery office from all over the US for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including well-known athletes who find hyperbaric oxygen treatments to be quite effective for muscle healing and recovery.
As you may know, “hyper” means increased. The word “baric” means pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (sometimes abbreviated to HBOT) is the treatment of the entire body to 100% oxygen at greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure.
Our atmosphere normally exerts about 15 lbs per square inch of pressure, at sea level. This is defined as “one atmosphere absolute” and is abbreviate as 1 ATA. In our atmosphere, we usually breathe air that’s 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. In the hyperbaric chambers at our Bakersfield plastic surgery office, the pressure is doubled to 2 ATA in 100% oxygen. The increased pressure along with pure oxygen dissolves the oxygen in the blood and cells up to 10 times the normal concentration which stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, especially in locations where circulation is reduced, such as in blocked arteries and blood vessels; it increases the body’s naturally produced antioxidants; it aids in treating infections by enhancing white blood cell action and antibiotics. Therefore, hyperbaric oxygen treatments are very helpful for patients who have problems with wound healing.
In April of 2006, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital proudly opened the doors to the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, a clinic designed to treat the needs of the thousands in the community affected by non-healing wounds. What began as a small trickle of patients soon became a flood as more and more Kern County residents heard what was possible through the advanced medicine being offered at the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. With the combined expertise of their physician panel, led by Medical Director, Dr. Vipul Dev, and the availability of such advanced modalities as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, patients who had suffered from chronic wounds for weeks, months or even years were finally able to find healing.
We provide full service care to patients suffering from chronic wounds with each of our physicians utilizing the expertise of the other physicians on the panel to fully assess and meet the individual needs of each patient. From severe diabetic foot ulcers to painful venous stasis ulcers, we provide a treatment plan intended to close the wound within 12 weeks of beginning treatment. Paramount to this is early vascular intervention via consultation with one of our two vascular surgeons within two weeks of the initial evaluation. Aiding our vascular surgeons in their decision making process is another piece of advanced equipment unique to the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine: the SensiLase! With up to 90% accuracy, the SensiLase allows our physicians to view the micro and macro-vascularity of our patients and determine if wound healing is likely to occur without surgical intervention.
Once the wound is proven to have adequate blood flow, treatment begins. Utilizing a variety of wound care treatment methods, including surgical debridement, compression therapy and negative pressure wound therapy, our goal is to close the wound as quickly as possible. We also have the availability of synthetic skin substitutes such as Dermagraft and Apligraf to help stimulate growth. These treatments, at times in conjunction with daily hyperbaric oxygen therapy, truly represent the most advanced wound care methods available.
SOME USES FOR HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY
- Air or gas embolism
- Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- Acute traumatic ischemia
- Exceptional blood loss
- Cyanide poisoning
- Decompression sickness
- Non-healing wounds, such as diabetic ulcers
- Gas gangrene
- Necrotizing infections
- Some cases of chronic osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Radiation effects
- Compromised skin flaps
Off-label uses include
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Head injuries and concussion
- Infections of all types , including Lyme’s
- Heart attacks
- Chronic fatigue
- Sports injuries
- Migraine headaches
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Raynaud’s phenomenon
- Vascular disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Decreased immune function
- Venomous bites
- Before and after surgery
- General wellness and Prevention
HOW HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY IS PERFOMED
HBOT is administered at the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. The patient is made comfortable on a bed, which is wheeled into the see-through, cylindrical hyperbaric chamber, which is approximately 8 feet long and 3 feet in diameter. During treatment, the patient has full 360-degree vision through the transparent enclosure, which is equipped with a two-way microphone and speaker. The patient can listen to music, watch TV, read, nap or talk to the staff member operating the chamber, as well as to family members or friends who come along to keep the patient company during treatment. The treatments generally last about an hour, during which time the patient inhales the pure oxygen while the pressure is gradually increased. When the treatment is finished, the patient is slowly decompressed to normal pressure and leaves the chamber.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment requires no recovery time; there is no pain or discomfort other than the potential for boredom if you forget to bring either a friend or a book! In that case, you can always watch TV or enjoy a nap during your hyperbaric oxygen experience!