Hyperbarics and Wound Care

Lafayette General Health houses two premier wound care centers in Acadiana, which serve as referral centers for patients with problem wounds, chronic ulcerations and various surgical problems. Self-referrals are accepted, but it’s ideal for patients to be referred by their physicians or home health nurse, as primary care physicians and various specialists can easily handle most wounds.

Lafayette General Health offers the people of Acadiana two locations to choose from – The Wound Care and Hyperbaric Healing Center at LGMC, or The Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at Acadia General Hospital (AGH) in Crowley. LGMC provides state-of-the-art diagnostic modalities to determine the reason that wounds are not healing and provides basic and advanced wound care according to what is needed to get a chronic wound to heal. Basic wound care principles include moisture and infection control, edema management and offloading or application of high and low tech wound care products. Advanced wound care technologies are available, such as wound vacuum-assisted closure, Apligraf® treatment, lymphedema pumps, total contact casting and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  The advanced wound center at AGH is an outpatient program that focuses on chronic and non-healing wounds.  Using advanced treatment modalities and a case management model, AGH helps patients improve the quality of their lives.

Problem wounds are often related to diabetes, chronic renal failure, peripheral artery disease, chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. But, people without these problems can also develop non-healing wounds and need help. One of the most successful advanced healing modalities is hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)?

HBOT is the delivery of 100% oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure to the whole body to treat basic diseases and the processes that cause them.  The dose varies according to the particular disease or problem being treated.

How is HBOT accomplished?

Experienced physicians, nurses and hyperbaric technicians use pressurized chambers to administer treatments. Patients rest comfortably on a stretcher inside the chamber while they are slowly pressurized with pure oxygen, two or three times that of normal atmospheric pressure. They watch TV, rest or sleep while breathing healing oxygen. Patients can come out within a few minutes if there is an emergency.

How long do HBOT treatments last?

Treatments are usually given daily, Monday through Friday, for 20 to 30 treatments. Each treatment lasts about two hours from start to finish.

What are the benefits of HBOT?

HBOT activates leukocyte or white blood cell bacterial killing power. HBOT replenishes low-oxygen tissue with white blood cells to improve tissue growth. This method works better than topical oxygen or oxygen administered by mask or through the nasal passage. HBOT reduces edema (fluid build up in tissue) and inflammation, supporting cellular resuscitation and promoting healing of injured tissue.

What types of conditions are treated with HBOT?

HBOT helps heal injuries and wounds resulting in inadequate oxygen delivery anywhere in the body - from skin, internal organs, and brain and nervous system to bone. It is used most often in cases of threatened surgical flaps and skin grafts, complicated diabetic foot wounds, severe infections of bone or soft tissue, crushing injuries of extremities. It can also reverse tissue damage caused by radiation therapy, traumatic brain injuries and strokes.

Is HBOT safe?

Although any medical treatment has some degree of risk, all appropriate precautions are taken to ensure patient safety. Lafayette General’s hyperbaric chambers meet or exceed all federal, state and local guidelines. A specially trained hyperbaric physician evaluates all patients before treatments are prescribed. Physicians, nurses and technicians, all trained in hyperbaric medicine, attend all treatments.  HBOT offers great healing potential with minimal side effects. It is an excellent additional medical treatment for many patients who need extra help with the healing process. The treatment is painless, although some may experience temporary ear problems. 

Will insurance cover the treatments?

Private, state and federal health insurance covers at least 13 medical conditions that respond to HBOT. These are primarily the conditions mentioned previously, plus decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning and certain exotic fungal and bacterial infections. Lafayette General Health will work out a plan to help you pay for treatments if you need them for a non-covered reason.

For more information, call (337) 289-7198 or review our electronic brochure on Wound Care and Hyperbaric Healing

To make an appointment at LGMC, call (337) 289-7080.
To make an appointment at AGH, call (337) 788-2014.