HBOT Procedures and Processes

by Rashmi Gulati, MD
Rashmi Gulati Head Shot

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) is prescribed by a physician and performed under medical supervision. Although there are minor risks (as with all medical treatments), hyperbaric oxygen therapy is extremely safe, non-invasive, and performed by a highly skilled technician under our physicians’ guidance and care.

Upon arrival to our clinic, a new patient will discuss their condition with a trained staff member. A medical history will be collected, followed by a thorough examination. Any appropriate testing necessary to ascertain a diagnosis is the next step, from which a customized treatment plan can be developed if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is indicated. A consult with the patient will involve the discussion of testing results, the proposed treatment plan, and any recommendations that might enhance the suggested therapy. These may include changes in diet, exercise, and ways to reduce stress and improve sleep. Supplements may be recommended to aid in treatment, or suggested to improve overall health. As the treatment plan is implemented, consults are scheduled to measure and discuss results, and to evaluate the progress of the treatment.

Only clean cotton clothing is allowed in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber. No cosmetics, perfumes, hair preparations, deodorants, wigs, or jewelry can be allowed in the chamber. The technician will ask the patient whether they are currently taking any medications, including non-prescription drugs, 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 the use of any other tobacco products during their treatment period, as they interfere with the body's ability to transport oxygen.

Other queries made to the patient prior to their hyperbaric oxygen therapy session include the following:

  • Whether the patient has any cold or flu symptoms, fever, or sinus, nasal, or chest congestion.
  • Whether the patient is pregnant or possibly pregnant.
  • Whether the patient has recently changed any medications.
  • Whether the patient has skipped a meal prior to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • Whether the patient is diabetic, and has not received insulin prior to treatment.
  • Whether the patient has any concerns or anxiety.

Routine hyperbaric treatments last approximately 90 minutes. Treatments are painless. As the air pressure changes in the chamber, the patient's ears may, however, have a sense of fullness, similar to the experience of flying in an airplane. Should the patient experience any pain during the treatment, the hyperbaric attendant should be notified immediately.

At the start of the treatment, some patients experience a sensation similar to that felt while taking off and landing in an airplane. As the chamber pressure builds, it is common to feel the same sensation in the ears as in an airplane. Towards the end of the treatment the pressure is released and the ears equalize automatically. Most patients rest comfortably throughout treatment. Many read, sleep, watch TV, or listen to music. Because the temperature increases during pressurization, HBOT chambers have a cooling system to ensure patient comfort.

If wound care is required, the wound care and/or hyperbaric staff will perform dressing changes on patients prior to or immediately after their treatment. Patients will be assigned a specific time for their care. The hyperbaric physician will see a patient based on his/her condition. The hyperbaric staff will update the physician on the patient's progress.

Begin Your Journey to Wellness with Patients Medical

Our job at Patients Medical is to listen, to connect the dots between a patient's medical history, symptoms, and their underlying causes. Patients Medical is a superb place for women and men to secure integrative and holistic health care from providers who give personalized care, partner with the patient to focus on the root cause of their illness, support their recovery, and help them maintain good health.

To make an appointment with one of our physicians, please call us at 1-212-794-8800. We look forward to hearing from you.

Next Steps For Supplement Therapy:

Many of us will benefit by taking supplements for the issues discussed on this page.

To order the supplements, please visit our supplements store website Or call 1-212-794-8800 to place an order.

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