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Frequently Asked Questions


What should I expect from my first appointment?

Patients are primarily referred to Hoag Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center through their primary care physician, but they may self-refer if desired. The program operates by appointment only. Upon referral to the center, patients undergo a thorough diagnostic examination to identify the type of wound they have and the underlying problems causing the wound. The initial appointment consists of a full assessment to determine the etiology of the wound, the appropriate classification and size of the wound, the overall health status of the patient and the patient’s ability to comply with needed therapies.

Based on the evaluation, a customized treatment plan is developed to optimize the therapies best suited to address the patient’s needs. Wound size and depth are documented at the initial visit, and again at each subsequent visit.

Some of the diagnostic modalities which may be used include:

  • Laboratory evaluation
  • Radiology (including MRI)
  • Transcutaneous oxygen testing
  • Vascular studies, electrocardiogram
  • Ultrasound

After this determination, a program specifically tailored to your needs will be initiated based on the most effective treatment options. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to provide the maximum healing possible.

What amount of time should I expect for treatment?

Specialized wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are usually administered on an outpatient basis. Patients are free to drive themselves to the Center for therapy, and you should plan two-and-a-half to three hours for each visit.

What is specialized wound care?

Once a treatment plan has been initiated, you will visit the Center on a regular basis for specialized treatments and documentation of the progress of your healing. You will also be fully instructed on how to do your own wound care at home between visits, as well as how to protect your wound from further injury. It is very important to remember that you are the most important part of your healing process. Keeping appointments and following directions are critical to attaining a positive healing outcome. The Center employs the most technologically advanced wound care therapy, including debridement, topical wound therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, growth-factor therapy, tissue therapy, dressing selection, special shoes, and patient education. When wounds persist, a specialized and comprehensive approach is required for healing.

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a safe and evidence-based treatment proven to speed the healing process in certain types of wounds. Essentially, HBOT therapy helps heal the wound from the inside out. HBOT can help reduce swelling, fight infection and build new blood vessels, ultimately producing healthy tissue. It is also effective in fighting certain types of infections, improving circulation, in stimulating growth of new blood vessels, and in treating crush injuries, osteomyelitis, compromised skin grafts and flaps, brown recluse spider bites, and diabetic wounds of the lower extremities. For more on HBOT, please view the Hyperbaric Medicine page here.

What can I expect during hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment?

The clear chambers are equipped with televisions and comfortable bedding, so patients are free watch their favorite television shows or a movie, or even sleep. During the treatments, the patient breathes 100 percent oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, quickly increasing the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream, where it is delivered to a patient's wound site for faster healing. A typical course of treatment involves the patient spending about 90 minutes a day in the chamber five days per week over a four-to-six-week period. For more on HBOT, please view the Hyperbaric Medicine page here.