Hyperbaric Wellness Center Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

I have a particular illness. Will HBO help me?
Currently the indications for HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY are expanding. Throughout the world, there are over 100 diagnoses that are improved by use of this therapy. However, we at the Hyperbaric Wellness Center have decided to focus on neuro-developmental disorders found in children. It has been shown that children with these disorders show tremendous improvement in healing, function, and cognitive processes. The following list shows these and other diagnoses for which we have the ability to treat:

Autism / Autistic Spectrum Disorders
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
Cerebral Palsy
Crohn's Disease
Interstitial Cystitis
Lyme Disease
Rheumatic Diseases
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Brain Injury
CFS / CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction)
Memory Loss
Multiple Sclerosis
RSD (Reflex Symapthetic Dystrophy)
Sports Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury

If I respond positively to treatment, how long will the effects last?
Treatment progress gained is generally kept. When doing HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY over a period of time, you may experience gains with cumulative affects. This means that the positive changes are not lost once the treatment ends.

How many treatments will I need?
The treatment's pressure and duration, as well as the number of treatments received, is determined by the patient's diagnosis and their body's response to the therapy. In general, patients with chronic conditions usually receive a longer series of treatments than patients with acute conditions. According to the chamber’s manufacturer and today’s most up-to-date scientific studies, patient’s with neurodevelopmental disorders may need a series of 20-60 treatments, or more. Most patients or their caregivers report some type of improvement after 10-15 hours of HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY. This is best discussed with our Physician during a consultation.

How much does it cost?
HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY costs $125.00 per hour - with discounts given for specific packages of treatments. Oxygen treatment hoods are sold for a one time fee of $125.00. This is by far the most affordable HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY in the Mid-South. Hospitals charge $750 - $900 - $1,200 for an identical treatment. We keep our overhead low and thereby can offer HBO at this reduced fee. Payment must be made prior to the initiation of treatment. To receive a package discount, the entire payment must be received prior to beginning treatments. Please contact us for our current prices.

Does insurance cover the costs of HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY?
Currently, insurance companies only cover the costs for HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY for the conditions listed below. Some of these conditions will only be covered in a hospital facility, as required by Medicare.

Decompression Sickness
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Gas Gangrene
Some Acute Traumatic Ischemia
Exceptional Blood Loss
Thermal Burns
Skin Grafts and Flaps (compromised)
Air/Gas Embolism
Smoke Inhalation
Crush Injury
Compartment Syndrome
Selected Problem Wounds
Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
Refractory Osteomyelitis

Do you offer Payment plans?
We do not offer payment plans to cover treatment, but treatment can be paid for with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Cash, or Check.

I have a limited amount of money. Can I afford HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY?
Depending upon the type of condition, individual treatment sessions can be arranged and paid for per session. It is however more cost effective to purchase a treatment package of discounted treatments - thereby providing a cost savings to you. If our Physician does not feel that you would respond to piecemeal treatment sessions, it would be in your best interest to wait until you can utilize HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY to it’s fullest advantage - when you can afford the recommended treatment at our facility.

Will my Doctor approve of HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY?
Most Medical Physicians (M.D. and D.O.) have had no experience with HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY, and therefore cannot recommend it as treatment. If you provide them with documentation as to it’s effectiveness for your condition - most Physicians would find it difficult to disagree with documented previous utilization with situations similar to yours. You can obtain documentation from the National Library of Medicine by simply typing in Hyperbaric Oxygen and your condition/Diagnosis. Further information can be obtained by searching for Hyperbaric Oxygen and your condition/Diagnosis on “GOOGLE”.

What are the most common side effects?
Under proper supervision, the risks of HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY are very minimal. The most common side effect is ear pain, and patients are monitored closely for this. Rarely, oxygen toxicity, pulmonary barotrauma and vision change can be experienced. The following list of potential side effects is reviewed with each patient prior to beginning therapy.

Ear barotrauma: This is the most common side effect of HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY. Ear barotrauma is a condition of discomfort in the ear caused by pressure differences between the inside and the outside of the eardrum. This may be caused by an upper respiratory infection, nasal congestion, or immature or deformed eustation tubes. Usually, the discomfort is temporary and can be resolved by equalizing the pressure in the ears. Children can be taught to clear (pop) their ears by drinking water, chewing gum, yawning, or simply by blowing pressure into the nose while pinching it shut. Decongestants or nasal sprays may be used, if necessary. If a patient is unable to equalize their ear pressure, the chamber pressure will be reduced until their ear discomfort subsides. Rarely, some patients may have to stop treatment and get evaluated by an ENT specialist for possible ear tube placement. Also, we have a device, called the Ear Popper, that helps in relieving the discomfort of sinus pressure.

Sinus pain: This is the second most common HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY complication and usually occurs in patients with upper respiratory track infections or allergic rhinitis. Usually a program of decongestant nasal spray (Afrin), antihistamines, and/or steroid spray just prior to compression allows therapy to continue.

Ocular changes: Rarely myopia and vision changes can be caused or worsened by hyperbaric therapy. It is always temporary and resolves after discontinuing treatment. Do not get new prescription glasses while receiving treatment. Acceleration of growth in existing cataracts is seen rarely in the elderly.

Oxygen toxicity: Pulmonary and Neuralgic manifestations of excessive oxygen are often cited as major concerns. Oxygen tolerance limits that avoid these manifestations are well defined for continuous exposures in normal people. Toxicity is not produced by daily exposures to oxygen at below 2.0 ATA for up to 2 hours per day. The protocol for most of the diagnoses we address is 1.5 ATA for 1 hour a day.

Oxygen seizures: Incidence of seizures is very rare and occurs only about once in over 200,000 treatments. Seizures have never been reported in treatments at less than 2.0 ATA for 1 hour or less. These are usually seen in persons with a known seizure disorder. Please advise us if you or your child have a known history of seizures.

Fire: Theoretically there is an increased risk of fire due to the enriched oxygen atmosphere inside of a tank. Since this chamber used by this clinic delivers oxygen through a mask system, the risk of fire is greatly reduced. Further, these risks are minimized by eliminating fire causing materials from the tank during treatment. No pocket warmers, lighters, or cell phones should ever be carried inside the chambers. Under certain conditions, battery operated devices may or may not be allowed.

Claustrophobia: Due to the confining nature of this treatment, confinment anxiety may occur. If signs of this are seen, therapy may be discontinued until this problem is resolved. If this is an issue, please keep in mind that in an emergency it takes two minutes to decompress the chamber. The chamber door can not be opened until it is totally decompressed.

Pulmonary barotrauma: Pulmonary barotrauma is a condition that rarely happens at the end of a therapy session, during decompression. This can be caused by the patient holding their breath during decompression or by certain lung diseases. Lung diseases that can cause an increased risk of pulmonary barotrauma include those in which there is obstruction to gas flow, such as asthma that has not responded fully to treatment, and lung scarring or inflammation (such as sarcoidosis, eosinophilic granuloma, or interstitial fibrosis). More rarely, a patient might experience a spontaneous pneumothorax. This occurs when an existing abnormality of the lung ruptures and allows air to leak between the lung tissue and the chest wall making it difficult to expand the lung and breathe. These are very dangerous and require emergency care. Fortunately this complication has never been seen in mild hyperbaric treatments.

Will HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY interfere with my medication?
Some medications are contraindicated while doing HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY. Please have a list of your medications available to discuss with us prior to your start of HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY - or, if a new medication is added to your regimen, alert us prior to your next treatment.

I’m claustrophobic. Will I be able to handle the HBO Chamber?
Most Patients can be treated with simple medications (Xanax, Valium, or Ativan) with no problems if they are claustrophobic. Please let us know if you have any problems with this prior to your first HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY treatment.

Do I need to bring someone with me?
In general, your HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY is safe and does not require a driver to accompany you. If the patient requires a caregiver in the chamber with them, we request that they bring the caregiver with them to each treatment. Each caregiver must be certified by our staff in order to accompany the Patient into the HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY Chamber.

Do I need a Physical first?
We require a prescription from the patient’s primary care provider prior to beginning HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY. A physical examination may be necessary prior to beginning any HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY to rule out contraindications. Adjunctive testing (Blood Work, Pulmonary Function Testing, Chest X-Ray, etc.) will be ordered according to the directions of the examining Physician. Please bring any records, X-rays with you to your consultation to expedite the evaluation process.

Are there any conditions that exclude me from HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY?
There are few contraindications for HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY. In fact, the medical textbook Hyperbaric Medicine Practice states, "Of all the medical treatments carried out in hospitals, HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY is one of the most benign (non-threatening) when it comes to side effects. The contraindications are relatively few." Nevertheless, the use of oxygen under hyperbaric conditions is a medical therapy, and as such, does have some conditions which make this treatment inadvisable for some patients. The following is a list of relative contraindications:

Also, patients should not undergo HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY if they are taking or have recently taken the following medications:
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) - A chemotherapeutic drug.
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse) - Used in the treatment of alcoholism.
  • Cis-Platinum - A cancer drug.
  • Mafenide Acetate (Sulfamylon) - Suppresses bacterial infections in burn wounds.

How long has HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY been used for Medical Conditions?
The use of increased atmosphere pressure for medical therapy has intrigued many physicians, scientists, and lay persons for hundreds of years. As early as the 1600s, practitioners varied atmospheric pressure in attempts to heal. Using a system of organ bellows, a British clergyman named Henshaw could adjust pressure within a sealed chamber called a domicilium. The simplistic principle behind its use was that acute conditions would respond to elevated atmospheric pressures, whereas chronic conditions would benefit from reduced pressure.

As time passed, air-compression devices evolved in appearance and function. It also was discovered that the use of compressed air could facilitate other methods. For example, a French surgeon named Fontaine created a mobile chamber that took advantage of a basic law of physics (Henry's law), which states that the solubility of a gas in a liquid is proportional to the pressure of the gas over the solution, provided that no chemical reaction occurs. By raising the atmospheric pressure within the chamber, Fontaine was able to increase the amount of oxygen carried by the patient's bloodstream during the administration of nitrous oxide anesthesia. This prevented blood oxygen levels from falling too low as typically happened with surgically acceptable depths of anesthesia.

In the early 1900s, Cunningham observed that patients with cardiovascular disease who dwelled at high altitudes fared less well than comparable patients living closer to sea level. Suspecting that altitude-dependent changes of atmospheric pressure were responsible, Cunningham hypothesized that raising pressure beyond a normobaric level would confer even greater benefit. He successfully treated a young colleague with influenza who was near death from lack of oxygen secondary to restricted lung function. With that success bolstering his confidence, he developed a cylindrical hyperbaric chamber approximately 3 meters in diameter by 27 meters in length, which could be used to treat many conditions.

Cunningham's fortunes took another upturn following the recovery of a patient afflicted with kidney disease. Ascribing his dramatically improved health to hyperbaric therapy, the grateful patient built for Cunningham a chamber fit for a king. This chamber -- built in Kansas City in 1921 -- was a hollow steel ball of approximately 20 meters in diameter and equipped with a smoking lounge, dining facilities, rich carpeting, and private quarters.

As grand as it may have been, the largest and probably the most ostentatious hyperbaric chamber in history met an undignified end. Its continued survival depended on demonstrable successes. Cunningham postulated that anaerobic bacteria (bacteria preferring low oxygen environments) were responsible for cancers, high blood pressure, and many other conditions. Based on this, he predicted that all would resolve at elevated atmospheric pressures that increase blood oxygen levels. Unfortunately, medical authorities did not find the results compelling, and Cunningham's hyperbaric "hospital" was closed and demolished for scrap metal.

In 1670, Robert Boyle observed how the eye of a snake could express a gas bubble visible through the cornea (the transparent outer membrane at the front of the eye). He concluded that tissues undergoing rapid decompression could express bubbles of previously dissolved gas. His conclusion is embodied in Boyle's law, which states that at a constant temperature, the volume and the pressure of a gas are inversely proportional. In other words, a gas will compress proportionately to the amount of pressure exerted on it.

Boyle's law helps explain what happens when a bottle of warm soda is opened. Under pressure, a large volume of carbon dioxide (which gives soda its fizz) dissolves in the beverage in accordance with Henry's law. When the cap is removed, the pressure on the liquid is relieved and the fluid cannot hold as much gas in solution. The gas forced out of solution rapidly forms bubbles. During deep-sea diving, inert gas breathed at relatively high pressure dissolves and accumulates in body tissues. As the diver returns to the surface, the gas may form bubbles that interfere with normal physiological processes. For example, blood circulation can disrupted by bubbles that clog small blood vessels, and pain can result when bubbles attempt to expand within the closed spaces of joints. The condition in which this occurs is called decompression sickness or "the bends."

Many years passed before Boyle's discovery was put to practical use in humans. In 1845, Triger wrote about symptoms in coal miners consistent with decompression sickness. Compressed air was used to force water from the tunnels. Like Boyle's snake, the miners apparently suffered no ill effects while under pressure. However, muscular pains and cramps occurred after they left the pressurized regions of the mine. In 1854, Pol and Watelle wrote that decompression was necessary for symptoms to develop and -- perhaps most important -- that recompression reduced symptoms. In 1876, Bert reported that nitrogen bubbles formed in tissue during rapid decompression. Nitrogen was thus implicated in the "Grecian bend," a term articulated by workers constructing the piers of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bent posture of afflicted individuals approximated the Grecian bend, a fashionable posture assumed by women of the period. Decompression sickness later became known as "the bends."

Workers constructing the tunnel beneath the Hudson River were also harmed by compressed air. Approximately one quarter of them apparently died from decompression sickness. When Moir treated the affected workers with recompression and relatively slow decompression, the death rate dropped dramatically. This worked because pressure forced the bubbles to redissolve and gradual reduction in pressure permitted nitrogen to emerge in bubbles small enough to circulate to the lungs, which disposed of them through exhalation.

Through subsequent decades, scores of therapeutic recompression/decompression protocols were devised. These developments were spearheaded by the military, who eagerly exploited the advantages of the hyperbaric submarine environment.

Studies in the 1930s suggested that supplementary oxygen could play an important role in treating decompression sickness. However, because oxygen could be explosive, three decades passed before equipment was developed that could safely handle its administration. Oxygen breathed under pressure forcibly washes nitrogen from tissues. Treatment protocols using hyperbaric oxygen therefore require substantially less time to complete than do those using only compressed air. Thus, hyperbaric oxygen remains the frontline instrument in the treatment of decompression sickness.

During the 1970s, the practice of HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY experienced hard times because (a) more effective therapies such as cardiac surgery became available, (b) efforts to use it for various medical conditions proved unsuccessful, and (c) rogue physicians who were high-profile HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY advocates damaged its reputation. However, respectable practices have been defined and established through further research, the development of textbooks and scholarly journals, and the activities of professional associations such as the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. Insurance programs now cover hyperbaric therapies in approved medical conditions, and systematic training and certification of health-care professionals have proliferated. In the United States, strict standards related to construction and safety of hyperbaric chambers and facilities have developed and are enforced. In March 2000, the American Board of Medical Specialties approved undersea and hyperbaric medicine as a subspecialty of both emergency medicine and preventive medicine.

For further information
If you have any questions or need further information, please call us at (901) 754-8880, or write us at:

Hyperbaric Wellness Center
2018 Germantown Road South
Germantown, Tennessee 38138

The information provided by Hyperbaric Wellness Center, LLC does not constitute a Medical Recommendation - it is intended for
informational purposes only. No claims, either real or implied, are being made.