Mayo Clinic's approach

Your hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Mayo Clinic is based on your doctor getting to know you and understanding your health issues. Together, you'll define a comprehensive whole-person treatment plan to address your needs.

Types of conditions treated

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used for three main circumstances:

  • Lifesaving. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can save the lives of people with air or gas embolisms, decompression sickness, or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Limb saving. It can be an effective treatment for nonhealing wounds of people at risk of losing a limb or who have had a crush injury.
  • Tissue saving. It can help repair tissue damage caused by burns, help heal muscle and skin grafts, and treat severe infections.

At Mayo Clinic, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is typically delivered in a large, rectangular chamber with up to three times the normal air pressure. While in the chamber, you receive 100 percent oxygen through a lightweight hood. You are assisted by a nurse.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatments usually last about 90 minutes. The chamber is equipped with an entertainment system to make your treatment relaxing. The number of treatments you receive depends on your condition. Some people may require as few as two or three sessions for conditions like carbon monoxide poisoning or up to 40 sessions for nonhealing wounds.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

  1. 'There Isn't Another Place in the World I Would Rather Crash'

    Carbon monoxide poisoning led to a plane crash that sent pilot Dan Bass to the hospital at Mayo Clinic. His doctors were able to treat his injuries and help him ?recover from the poisoning, thanks in part to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The last thing Dan Bass remembers about his flight from Duluth, Minnesota, on Feb. [...]

  2. Saving Dave Boyett?s Foot With the Help of a Pressure Chamber

    After a series of accidents led to increasingly serious foot wounds and infections, Dave Boyett was told he might have to have his right foot amputed. Staff at Mayo Clinic?s Hyperbaric and Altitude Medicine Program in Rochester, however, helped change that. Dave Boyett was just trying to be helpful when, on Labor Day weekend in [...]

  3. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps Heal a Veteran's Wounds

    Fritz Kruger of Hayward, Wisconsin, wondered how breathing pure oxygen while enclosed in a pressurized tube could heal his body. Fritz, 56, suffered from side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer when he was referred for hyperbaric oxygen therapy in fall 2016.? A?U.S. Air Force veteran who served from 1986 to 1995, including in [...]

  4. Keen Eye and Quick Action Save Rochester Mom From Life-Threatening Infection

    When Heather Spaniol woke up from the first of many surgeries to rid her body of a life-threatening infection that was decimating her tissues, the gratitude she felt toward the Mayo Clinic surgeons who?d saved her life was so strong, she didn?t even register how much trauma her body had sustained. ?I think I was [...]

Expertise and rankings

  • Expertise. Mayo Clinic's board-certified specialists in undersea and hyperbaric medicine administer thousands of treatments each year. Mayo's program is accredited by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society in conjunction with The Joint Commission.
  • State-of-the-art facility. Mayo Clinic has one of the largest hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers in the United States. It accommodates several people at a time.
  • Teamwork. Hyperbaric medicine doctors work with experts in many other specialties, including vascular medicine, radiation oncology and reconstructive surgical specialties. This multidisciplinary team of specialized experts collaborates on your care.
  • Research. Mayo doctors and researchers share new medical advancements and treatment guidelines for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric medicine is part of Mayo's Aerospace Medicine program, which has a long history of research on low-oxygen conditions in flight.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Jan. 12, 2018
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  15. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: Don't be misled. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
  16. Liu R, et al. Systematic review of the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygenation therapy in the management of chronic diabetic foot ulcers. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2013;88:166.
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