Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy is a safe, effective treatment used to help heal many types of wounds, including skin damage due to radiation treatment, internal injuries or diabetic wounds.
Siegfried Buehler of Farmingdale knows how effective HBO therapy can be. The 84-year-old Long Islander had a bleeding bladder resulting from radiation therapy. The bleeding required an ambulance transport to Catholic Health’s St. Catherine of Siena Hospital in Smithtown where he received his first HBO experience at the hospital's Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing.
“The team at St. Catherine was very professional and very reassuring,” said Buehler. “From the stretcher to the pressure chamber, it all went 1, 2, 3. They made me very comfortable.”
The initial treatment lasted 10 days. Once Buehler was stabilized, he returned home and began a six-week outpatient regimen of HBO treatment at the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, NY.
“The great benefit of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is that it slowly builds up damaged tissue and creates new blood vessels in a safe and pain-free environment,” said Lauren Montano, RN, Program Director for the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing at St. Joseph Hospital. “HBO therapy can not only stop the bleeding but also reduce pain symptoms.”
St. Joseph’s Medical Director for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing Alan Slepian, MD, offered his take on the when and why of HBO. "This is truly a wonderful adjunctive therapy to help heal resistant wounds. It’s really the only advanced technology we have to offer those patients who are suffering from the late effects of radiation therapy. It is safe, effective and easy to tolerate and should be offered to all patients with radiation tissue damage. In many cases, this treatment can be life-altering in its benefits, giving the patient an improved quality of life and decreasing their risk of infection and complications."
Buehler is feeling much better now and says he was impressed by how effective HBO therapy is. “It certainly got the bleeding under control. And the procedure is really a walk in the park. All I did was lay down and watch TV for a couple hours while the air pressure did its work.”
Catholic Health Centers for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing
You can find expert care for all types of wounds at:
- Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at Mercy Hospital, Rockville Centre
- Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital, Smithtown
- Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson
- Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at St. Joseph Hospital, Bethpage
Learn more about wound care services offered at Catholic Health. Call 866-MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health physician near you.