Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

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Find out what you need to know about care and treatment for your wound at Cottage’s Ridley-Tree Center for Wound Management. To talk with our wound care coordinator call (805) 696-7920.  

Sometimes wounds will not respond to general wound care treatments alone. For some patients, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy is an effective technology that supplements other treatments used by physicians.

The Ridley Tree Center at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is equipped with the most technologically advanced hyperbaric chambers that provide patients with pure oxygen within a pressurized setting. Normal air is made up of 21 percent oxygen. Breathing pure oxygen increases the level of oxygen in the blood stream, promoting wound healing by stimulating new vascular growth and aiding in the preservation of damaged tissue.

This treatment can provide:

  • Enhanced wound healing
  • Increased oxygen delivery to injured tissues
  • Improved infection control
  • Greater blood vessel formation
  • Preservation of damaged tissues
  • Elimination and reduced effects of toxic substances
  • Reduction or elimination of gas-bubble obstructions


The benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy result from an oxygen-enriched blood stream and not from the oxygen’s direct contact with wounds. This is why wound dressings are usually left in place during treatment. HBO therapy involves daily visits to the Wound Center for three to four weeks, then follow-up wound care to monitor healing progress.

How it Works

  • Each time a patient gets hyperbaric oxygen, he or she is said to be going on a “dive.” The pressurized environment in the chamber is equivalent to the pressure at depths of as much as 66 feet below sea level. Patients receiving HBO treatments lie comfortably inside the chamber. Patients may watch television, listen to music, or nap.
  • Patients inside the chamber may notice discomfort inside their ears as a pressure difference develops between their middle ear and the chamber atmosphere. Patients are instructed in techniques for relieving this pressure.
  • Depending on the treatment required, some patients may need only one or two dives. More serious situations, such as radiation tissue damage, might require 30 to 40 sessions. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally prescribed in conjunction with other treatments such as surgery and medications.