As Part of a Well-Rounded Approach, HBOT Can Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Reduce Amputation Risk
For decades, health practitioners have prescribed hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat diabetic wounds and help prevent lost limbs. At one time, HBOT was considered out of the mainstream, but today prestigious university hospitals like those at Duke and Stanford use it routinely to successfully treat people with diabetic wounds. And that’s not surprising, considering that around 61% of diabetic patients will heal from foot ulcers using traditional medical treatments, but adding hyperbaric oxygen therapy makes that number rise to almost 90%.
18.3% of all Americans over 60 suffer with diabetes. They are at increased risk of developing infections that can be life-changing. These infections are complicated by gangrene caused by bacteria and reduced blood flow. Each year, U.S. hospitals perform more than 82,000 amputations on those with diabetes, at a cost of $1.1 billion. This cost doesn’t include surgeon fees, prosthetic devices, rehab costs, time lost from work or disability payments. Having HBOT treatments has dramatically improved results for those whose only prior option has been amputation.
Here are just two stories of people with diabetes who saved their limbs using hyperbaric oxygen therapy:
One World War II veteran and retired attorney faced amputation due to a diabetic foot ulcer, bone infection, and blocked arteries that reduced blood flow to his legs. A vascular surgeon performed surgery to restore his blood flow and recommended that he seek further treatment. The surgeon connected the veteran with a wound care center in San Marcos, CA. While there, the patient saw a podiatrist, infectious disease specialist and a doctor who used HBOT to heal wounds. Thanks to this well rounded approach that included hyperbaric oxygen treatments, the veteran fully healed – and also saved his limb.
In another case, a Texas man developed a red spot on his shin that resisted healing with antibiotic creams. Eventually, the spot grew and spread to his other leg. When the man finally sought treatment, the infection was severe and now had dead muscle and skin surrounding it. After diagnosing the man with diabetes, doctors warned him that he could face amputation. One physician advised him to try HBOT at an area wound care center first. Again, a multi-disciplinary team provided treatment that included hyperbaric oxygen therapy. After several months of HBOT, the man regrew healthy, pink skin on his legs.
In any multidisciplinary approach, treating diabetic wounds as quickly as possible improves a patient’s chances of success with healing and avoiding amputation. HBOT uses 100% oxygen under higher than normal atmospheric pressures in order to improve blood circulation and fight off infections. No wonder prestigious hospitals around the country now use it so routinely!
Over the past 14 years, Dr. Spiegel has successfully used HBOT to treat those with diabetic neuropathy and wounds that won’t heal with conventional therapies. Medicare and other insurances may cover your treatments. To schedule an assessment and learn whether HBOT could be right for you, simply click here. Or call our office today at (727) 787-7077.
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