How Two Patients Saved Limbs from Amputation with Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments
For decades, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used to treat diabetic wounds and help prevent lost limbs. For much of that time, HBOT was considered out of the mainstream. Not anymore. Far from it! Today, some of the most prestigious university hospitals in the country routinely use hyperbaric oxygen chambers to heal stubborn diabetic wounds and save limbs. And it’s hardly surprising. Consider that around 60 percent of those with diabetic foot ulcers get relief with traditional medical treatments. But when you add hyperbaric oxygen therapy, almost 90 percent of those wounds successfully heal! That’s no small potatoes – especially if you have a stubborn wound putting you at risk for gangrene and other serious infections. Here are just two stories of how HBOT worked successfully as part of an overall treatment plan to help patients avoid amputation.
How HBOT Saved Limbs of Two Men Suffering from Advanced Diabetic Wounds
When it comes to saving diabetic limbs from amputation, the results of hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be truly amazing. Here are two stories I’ve previously tweeted about HBOT’s effectiveness:
One retired attorney who served in World War II suffered from diabetes. To make matters worse, the patient had blocked arteries that reduced blood flow to his legs. A resulting diabetic ulcer had become infected all the way to the bone. When this serious infection resisted treatments, the attorney went to a vascular surgeon who restored the blood flow to his legs. The surgeon recommended that his patient seek out a wound care center in San Marcos, CA. Wanting to save his limb, the attorney took the surgeon’s advice. The wound center treatment team included an infectious disease specialist, a podiatrist and a doctor who focused on HBOT treatments. This multi-pronged medical approach, including time in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, enabled the attorney’s wound to heal fully. Even more significantly, it allowed him to save his leg.
Another story I like to tell is of a Texas man who developed a red spot on his shin that refused to heal –even with antibiotic creams. Over time, the spot enlarged and spread to the opposite leg. The man delayed getting treatment, so his legs became severely infected. What began as a small red spot got so out of control that the wound now had dead muscle and skin surrounding it. Doctors diagnosed the man with diabetes, and warned him that he would need to have his limbs amputated.
Thankfully, one doctor had heard how an area wound center was successfully treating diabetic wounds with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. He advised the Texas patient to give the center a try. As in the previous story, the man’s multi-pronged treatment approach included HBOT. After three months or so, he regrew healthy, pink skin on his legs!
With any integrative approach that includes HBOT, treating diabetic wounds as quickly as possible improves a patient’s chances to heal and avoid amputation. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses pure oxygen under varying sea level pressures in order to improve blood circulation and fight off infections. Over the past 14 years, I have successfully treated many patients suffering from stubborn wounds. And, as the two stories well illustrate, HBOT helps both to save limbs and restore lives.
Will Insurance Cover HBOT Treatment for Non-Healing Wounds?
Medicare and other insurances often cover HBOT for non-healing wounds. It may depend on the wound’s severity. Our center’s doctors can let you know with more certainty if they observe your individual condition. If you’d like to learn whether HBOT could benefit you or a loved one, contact us directly at 727-787-7077.