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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

The University of Kansas Hospital’s state-of-the-art, hyperbaric oxygen chambers deliver 100% oxygen at 2-3 times normal atmospheric pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream and promotes healing. HBOT is also a lifesaving treatment for patients such as scuba divers with decompression sickness, or the bends. Ours is the region’s only 24/7 hyperbaric oxygen facility.

Your doctor must refer you to one of our physicians for evaluation to determine if HBOT is appropriate for your condition. You will receive personalized care from our dedicated, experienced team that includes HBOT physicians and specialty trained nurses and technicians.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy benefits

  • Increases oxygen concentration in all body tissues
  • Stimulates new blood vessel growth in locations with reduced circulation
  • Helps treat infection by improving white blood cell action

What to expect during treatment

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions last about 2 hours. The number of sessions depends on your condition. If you require more than 1 session, you will have treatment daily, Monday-Friday, until your therapy is complete. One of our HBOT nurses will be at your side to monitor and help you throughout your session.

Although HBOT is painless and noninvasive, you may experience temporary physical sensations that are not harmful. These include:

  • Your ears may pop at the beginning and end of your session. We will show you how to equalize pressure in your ears.
  • You may feel warm for a few minutes as the chamber pressurizes.
  • If you wear reading glasses, you may not need them for a few weeks after your treatment.
  • If your eyes are normal, your vision may temporarily worsen.
Learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Special considerations

Those with heart conditions may be monitored each session. We will check blood sugar levels of diabetes patients before and after each session.

Clothing, food and safety

  • We provide you with an all-cotton garment to wear in the chamber.
  • You may wear your eyeglasses or soft contact lenses.
  • Remove all jewelry, including rings and watches.
  • Do not wear cosmetics such as makeup, hair spray, nail polish, lotions, perfume or cologne.
  • You may eat a regular meal before your treatment.
  • Battery-powered devices such as hearing aids and cell phones are not allowed in the chamber.
  • Do not bring lighters or matches.
  • Tobacco use constricts blood vessels and diminishes the benefits of HBOT.
    • If you smoke, stop smoking for the duration of your treatment.
    • Patients who are unable to stop smoking are not eligible for HBOT.
    • If you want to quit smoking, we can help.