How air helps you heal

Hyperbaric oxygen chamber

Learn more about oxygen therapy and how it works.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Pressurized oxygen promotes healing, saves lives

The University of Kansas Hospital’s state-of-the-art, hyperbaric oxygen chambers deliver 100 percent oxygen at two to three times normal atmospheric pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or 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.

Benefits of HBOT

  • 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


We provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy for conditions ranging from life-threatening emergencies to those where HBOT is optional. Conditions include:

  • Acute carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Arterial gas embolism
  • Decompression sickness (the bends)
  • Chronic bone infection (refractory osteomyelitis)
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Crush injury
  • Diabetic foot ulcer
  • Gas gangrene (clostridial myonecrosis)
  • Flesh-eating bacteria (necrotizing fasciitis)
  • Bone damage from radiotherapy (osteoradionecrosis)
  • Soft tissue damage from radiotherapy (soft tissue radionecrosis)
  • Skin grafts or failed flaps

What to expect

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions last about two hours. The number of sessions depends on your condition. If you require more than one 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.

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.
  • Do not bring lighters or matches.
  • Battery-powered devices such as hearing aids and cell phones are not allowed in the chamber.


Use of tobacco 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.

Our physicians

To ensure optimal outcomes, all of our physicians specialize in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. They work with a dedicated team of experienced nurses and technicians.

Refer a patient or obtain a consult

For nonemergent hyperbaric oxygen referrals, call 913-588-1227.

For emergent hyperbaric oxygen referrals or to transfer a patient, call 913-588-5862 or visit our Transfer Center.