Hello and welcome back to PARC Parent Pointers! This week is the long-awaited video about hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments. If you haven’t already, check out my previous videos, this segment is a continuation of HBOT.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments increase vascularity to the surgery site, increase the elasticity of the skin, and make the skin easier to work with during surgery. The doctors published a paper regarding this and many other benefits HBOT provides.
How to get started with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:
I’m sure you’re wondering how this process starts. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy facilities can be easy to find with a quick google search. It is up to you to find a location that best fits your needs (nearest to your home/school/work). If you would prefer to use facilities near our office, I can provide you with a list of ones we recommend. If you’re having any difficulties finding hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment facilities in your area, our biggest recommendation is staying in the Dallas area so that you can receive treatments at our local facilities. We are not familiar with Hyperbaric Centers all across the nation like we are with the facilities closest to us. It is almost always easier to get treatments approved and easily taken care of by one of our local facilities, but that does not mean that you have to get them here – it’s just easier.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Facility Types:
We have facilities that are multi-chamber (both the child and parents can get in together), single chamber (the patient goes in alone), private pay options for those without insurance, as well as facilities that offer associated hotel discounts for diving with them. Once you have found a facility, it is important to make sure they will follow our protocol.
PARC Protocol for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:
Our PARC Protocol for hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments is: 60 minute treatments which do not include the time it takes for decompression and compression. Most facilities take 15 minutes before and after the treatment to compress and decompress the chamber, which would make a total of 90 minute treatments. Additionally, the chamber should be compressed to 2.0 atmospheric pressure in order to notice the affects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments specifically for hypospadias patients. Lastly, they need to provide 2 room air breaks, which means going down from 100% oxygen to 21% oxygen for at least 5 minutes twice during each individual treatment.
How many treatments are necessary?
Each surgical procedure requires a different amount of hyperbaric treatments, but (at minimum) you can expect to receive anywhere between 10 to 20 treatments after surgery. This all depends on the type of repair that your son is having, as well as his previous medical history, but I will be able to give you specifics closer to the date of surgery.
Tips and Tricks:
**If you have an older child who isn’t tolerating the hyperbaric chambers like you thought he would, or if your child is less than four years old: We recommend you try giving Zyrtec and Afrin nasal spray before each treatment. It helps tremendously with congestion and it helps for those ages that don’t necessarily know how to clear their ears like older boys would on an airplane. Secondly, you can arrange to have ear tubes placed prior to surgery as well as prior to treatments in order to make treatments more comfortable for him. ENT groups can be found with a quick Google search or by calling the number on the back of your insurance card to see what providers and clinics are in-network with your specific insurance. We recommend getting ear tubes placed 6-8 weeks prior to surgery.
Please keep our office updated on your progress. We can only recommend certain facilities and fax over a referral. If your insurance company denies hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments, we can also help with other documentation for the HBOT center’s appeal. In many cases, it is more difficult to receive treatments prior to surgery compared to after surgery. If that’s the case, there’s no need to cancel or reschedule the surgery. Instead, we would recommend staying in the Dallas area near our local facilities that have better chances of getting insurance approval. In these cases, we would send the referral over as urgent/emergent treatments the day of surgery so that you can begin treatment the day immediately following surgery. You would continue those treatments until completed or until heading home where he would finish the remainder of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments at a facility near your home. Many families like to stay at our local facility for the week of surgery until the weekend when they can travel home and continue treatment at their local facility that following Monday. This is because most facilities are not open on the weekends, so that is the best time to travel. Some of our local facilities are open on the weekends, but we do not recommend receiving a treatment on the same day you are traveling home by plane.As always please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns in regards to hyperbaric treatments and your son. I would be more than happy to help assist you in this process as well as talk with the hyperbaric facility if they have any questions. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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