Meet the HBOT team led by Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD (center).

Specialized Services Delivered By Experts

Under the direction of Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, Washington, D.C.’s only board-certified undersea and hyperbaric medicine physician, the MedStar Georgetown Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) center offers streamlined outpatient and inpatient services for a broad spectrum of hard-to-treat wounds and other conditions. MedStar Georgetown is the only center in Washington, D.C., accredited by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society.

Dr. Johnson-Arbor, the center’s full-time director and HBOT clinical researcher, personally oversees each patient’s evaluation, risk assessment and treatment and leads a dedicated team of technicians and nurses all with specialized training in the administration of HBOT. This team of experts coordinates each patient’s plan of care from inception through follow-up.

Treating a Variety of Wound Problems

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is frequently used for patients whose wounds do not respond to first-line treatment. Patients are exposed to 100 percent oxygen while pressurized to greater than two times normal atmospheric pressure. Supersaturated levels of oxygen in the blood and elevated tissue oxygen gradients stimulate the release of stem cells, which leads to increased tissue angiogenesis. This production of new vessels improves blood flow and promotes wound healing.

Use of HBOT at MedStar Georgetown is based on sound medical evidence and best practice and is used to treat a variety of diagnoses, including:

  • Delayed radiation injury, including soft tissue and osteoradionecrosis
  • Preparation or preservation of compromised grafts or flaps
  • Diabetic lower extremity ulcers
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
  • Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
  • Acute carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Severe anemia
  • Central retinal artery occlusion
  • Clostridial myositis or myonecrosis
  • Crush injury, compartment syndrome and other acute traumatic ischemias
  • Acute arterial insufficiencies

The HBOT Experience

Our center has four single person HBOT chambers and the capacity to treat up to 16 patients every day. This helps to streamline care delivery—and offers our patients services with little or no wait time. No other area facility has this capacity.

Our hyperbaric chambers are some of the largest full body chambers available (41 inches in diameter) and provide patients with a 360 degree visual field. During therapy, they can comfortably sit up, read, watch TV and listen to music or sleep.

Most treatments are scheduled for two hours either once or twice a day, depending on the nature of the patient’s condition. The number of treatments varies as well, and could number between 20 to 40 sessions.

A patient undergoing hyperbaric treatment in one of our center's large, full body chambers.

Convenient Hours for Patients

Our center is open for treatment weekdays, and sessions are scheduled at four intervals: 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Weekend hours can be provided for emergencies, such as in cases of decompression illness, carbon monoxide poisoning or compromised skin grafts.

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a wound care specialist, call our scheduling line: 


Awards and Recognitions

The ADA 2013 Roger Pecoraro Award was given to Christopher Attinger, MD, FACS.

This award recognizes a researcher who has made scientific contributions and demonstrates an untiring commitment to improve the understanding of the detection, treatment and prevention of diabetic foot complications.