Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Unit
Mather Hospital’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Unit treats a wide range of conditions that respond to intense oxygenation, saving sight, limbs and lives. The Mather unit, the first of its kind on Long Island, is also the only one in Suffolk County available for emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients receive treatment in comfortable, pressurized chambers that deliver 100 percent oxygen.
Staffed by critical care nurses, the unit has eight physicians representing family practice, internal medicine, emergency medicine, pulmonology and cardiology. Three physicians are board certified in hyperbaric medicine.
What Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treats
Long called upon to treat divers with decompression sickness, or “the bends," hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is now used to treat a variety of medical conditions including carbon monoxide poisoning; non-healing wounds, especially in diabetics; and soft tissue injury or infection due to radiation treatments (including radiation cystitis, radiation colitis and other affected radiation areas). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy also helps to preserve skin grafts and flaps, and most recently has been shown to be effective treating patients with sudden blindness due to retinal artery occlusion.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers - Open sores or wounds that commonly appear on the bottom of the foot and occurs among 15% of people with diabetes, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). HBOT provides extra oxygen to help repair the non-healing wound, causing the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) to replace the blood vessels damaged bydiabetes. The increased blood flow supplies the factors needed to heal the wound. Also, hyperbaric oxygen helps enhance the action of antibiotics and kill bacteria that form in a chronic wound.
Radiation Cystitis - Injury to the bladder caused by radiation therapy used to treat cancers of the prostate, bladder, colon, rectum, ovaries, vagina and cervix. HBOT provides extra oxygen to help repair the damage caused by radiation. Unlike standard treatments, HBOT causes new blood vessels to grow and replace the blood vessels damaged by radiation. The improved blood flow helps tissues heal and remain healthy. Treatment usually consists of 30-40 sessions over six to eight weeks.
How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Works
As the increased oxygen saturates the red blood cells as well as blood plasma, it circulates throughout the body, reaching hypoxic (deprived of oxygen) tissue that the body was previously unable to recognize as in need of healing. Increased oxygen levels also stimulate the body to release the growth factors and stem cells that promote the healing of chronic wounds. The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Unit works with Mather's Wound Treatment Center, which has locations in Port Jefferson and Melville.
Hyperbaric therapy is covered by most insurance companies.
For more information, please call 631-476-2768.
Related article: What You Should Know About Diabetic Foot Ulcers