Pressure Chamber Therapy in Israel | Ichilov

Pressure chamber therapy

Pressure chamber therapy is a treatment that raises the level of oxygen in the blood and body tissues by the mechanism of action of hyperbaric oxygen, which is oxygen at high atmospheric pressure. This treatment encourages new processes of cell production and oxygen flow to areas suffering from lack of oxygen and thus enables wound healing and encourages activity in tissues suffering from a lack of oxygen.

What is Pressure Chamber Therapy?

The treatment is administered in a special chamber that has a cylinder-shaped structure made of pressure-resistant materials, with seating for patients and medical staff. Each seat has a dedicated oxygen mask or transparent hood, as needed, through which 100% oxygen is inhaled. Air is circulated into the pressure chamber at a pressure of 2 – 6 atmospheres. At Ichilov Hospital, the pressure chamber reaches 3 atmospheres and allows a variety of elective and urgent treatments.

Treatment in the pressure chamber typically takes two consecutive hours inside the chamber, at a pressure of 2 atmospheres and while alternating inhaling 100% oxygen and room air.

The treatment in the pressure chamber is painless and is completely safe. The sensation in the pressure chamber is similar to what is felt during takeoff in an airplane, and therefore there may be pressure in the ears, which can be overcome by drinking water or blowing your nose.

How does the treatment in a pressure chamber affect you?

When we inhale oxygen, it enters the lungs and from there passes into the bloodstream. Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported by red blood cells and hemoglobin. The enriched oxygen inhaled in the pressure chamber turns into a high amount of dissolved oxygen and reaches the diseased tissues at a concentration of about 1,200%. In this process, the body’s natural healing mechanisms are accelerated, by the production of growth factors in the cell and the growth of stem cells in particular.

The advantages of enriched oxygen for the tissues of the body:

  • Accelerates healing processes in complex wounds
  • Accelerates the growth of skin tissue
  • Helps restore small blood vessels
  • Accelerates the process of new bone tissue formation
  • Reduces swelling and edema
  • Reduces damage from various toxins such as smoke inhalation

What is treated using pressure chambers?

Pressure chamber therapy at Ichilov Hospital is divided into 3 main groups:

  • Radiation damage
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Neurological and cognitive impairment in adults and children

In addition, various medical conditions such as: fibromyalgia, sudden hearing loss, sports injuries and more.

In order to evaluate suitability, the patient must submit medical documentation, which will be examined by a professional medical team that will formulate a personal treatment plan accordingly.

Treatment of non-healing wounds (complex wounds)

A non-healing wound is defined as a wound that does not heal in a period of 4 – 6 weeks, despite the administration of various therapeutic treatments to heal the wound. Complex wounds are common in diabetic patients and in patients after radiation therapy.

Since healing processes are energy-intensive processes, it is known that under conditions of lack of oxygen the basic energy required for tissue healing is lacking. During the treatment with hyperbaric oxygen – oxygen under pressure, it is possible to transfer the amount of oxygen required for the healing processes in the tissue.

The reason for the delay in wound healing is caused by several factors:

  • Local factors such as stress, a humid or dry environment; that can be changed and addressed with guidance and information.
  • Systemic factors such as infection, edema and a problem with the supply of oxygen to the tissues. Healing is severely affected by a lack of oxygen supply.

Treatment in a pressure chamber by the provision of 100% oxygen at high atmospheric pressure increases the concentration of free oxygen in the blood and thus increases the oxygen transferred to the tissue.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy:

  • Encourages the formation of new blood vessels
  • Encourages proliferation of connective cells and collagen
  • Increases bone cell activity for bone restoration and the production of new bone
  • Contributes to an increase in the number of stem cells in the area of the wound and their uptake
  • In addition, the hyperbaric oxygen directly and indirectly enhances antibacterial activity.

Treatment of head injuries and neurological damage

A high oxygen concentration = hyperbaric oxygen in the brain tissue.

Following brain damage, metabolic activity is impaired and many nerve cells are left without a sufficient supply of energy to enable proper function. The provision of oxygen at high atmospheric pressure can improve the state of cell function and brain function. Due to its importance, the brain receives a relatively high rate of oxygen compared to other areas of the body – about 20% of the total oxygen that enters the body. However, this energy is used mainly by active areas, and not by damaged or dormant areas. Therefore, the supply of oxygen to the brain under normal conditions cannot support repair and healing processes such as the building of new blood vessels, renewal of connections between nerve cells and waking dormant nerve cells. These processes require a particularly large amount of energy.

During pressure chamber therapy there is a very high concentration of oxygen, up to 10 times the concentration in the normal air we breathe. Therefore, the brain can allocate the energy needed to repair damage in the affected areas; hence the significant improvement in the functioning of the patients.

Treatment of fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by the presence of diffuse pain in the muscular system. It is a severe disorder accompanied by chronic pain that impairs quality of life. The pain is felt both along the spine (in the neck and back) and in the upper and lower limbs.

In fibromyalgia, damage is caused to the central nervous system in the areas in the brain responsible for processing the sensation of pain. The treatment of fibromyalgia cannot be based solely on medication and there are additional treatment components of central importance, such as exercise and complementary therapies – one of which is pressure chamber therapy. Studies have shown that high-pressure oxygen therapy may improve symptoms and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients. Treatment in a pressure chamber is designed to treat the pathological cause of the pain, rather than the symptom itself, which is the pain.

The treatment plan for pressure chamber therapy

The treatment plan includes a series of daily treatments administered on two consecutive days, Sundays – Thursdays. The duration of the daily treatment is two hours, during which the patient is inside the pressure chamber.

A series of treatments is tailored to each diagnosis:

  • Severe wounds and radiation damage – between 20 – 30 treatments and sometimes even 40 (daily treatment on consecutive days)
  • Neurological and other diagnoses – a series of 60 treatments (daily treatment on consecutive days)

Does pressure cell therapy have any side effects?

The possible side effects are few, and most of them are transient:

  • A drop in glucose levels – therefore, glucose values are tested for each diabetic patient with levels below than 100 milligrams / deciliter. It is recommended to eat before entering the pressure chamber.
  • An increase in blood pressure values – in case of blood pressure above 170 / 90, treatment will be slightly delayed until the patient is calm, after which they will enter the chamber. Therefore, it is recommended to be make sure to take any medications to lower blood pressure.
  • The most common phenomenon is earache, which can be prevented by blowing the nose; if it occurs, it resolves after several days.

Rare side effects:

  • Penetration of air between the lungs and chest – a pneumothorax
  • Oxygen poisoning, which will cause temporary seizures
  • Temporary myopia, due to temporary changes in the lenses of the eyes


It is normal to feel unsure about going abroad to get medical treatment in a foreign country. Knowledge is the key for your peace of mind! Therefore we encourage you to research and get as much info as possible about the hospital, the staff and the treatment that is available. At Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, we will be more than happy to answer all your questions and provide you with all the necessary info so you can make a sound decision. Our vast experience and track record of success is our way to make you feel comfortable. Please feel free to contact our Medical Tourism Center directly on +972-3-697-3426 to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to answer all your questions.
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