A drug-free treatment center in West Lake Hills has reached a milestone.
ATX Hyperbarics, located in the Westlake Medical Center in West Lake Hills, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary of treating various injuries through increasing oxygen in the blood by exposing patients to hyperbaric pressure within its oxygen-rich chambers.
Dr. Eleanor Womack’s medical practice had originally been in ATX Hyperbarics’ space. When she decided to expand to a larger office upstairs in Westlake Medical Center, she held onto the empty clinic.
After one of her patients purchased a hyperbaric chamber for home use and extolled its benefits, she began researching hyperbaric chamber treatments and decided to open a new clinic in her old office space.
While hyperbaric chambers had been used primarily to treat scuba divers with decompression sickness, they are now being used to treat a variety of ailments, according to Eleanor
The oxygen-rich, high-pressure environment allows the blood to carry more oxygen molecules throughout the body and to injured areas that require more oxygen to repair, she said.
“Once I put you in the chamber under pressure, oxygen goes into solution, so now it doesn’t have to be carried on your hemoglobin molecules anymore. It’s actually in the plasma,” she said.
According to co-owner Clay Womack, ATX Hyperbarics treats patients up to 2.2 atmospheres, which translates into 17 pounds per square inch. While some hyperbaric chambers cost under $10,000, medical-grade hyperbaric chambers can cost more than $250,000.
Clay said hyperbaric chambers can help heal the damaged lungs of patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
Hyperbaric chamber treatments are typically not covered by major insurers, according to Eleanor, but that may eventually change.
ATX Hyperbarics has expanded to offer light therapy, which increases the production of collagen and other internal resources, and opened a second location in Round Rock, Clay said.
"We’re very grateful to be able to serve other physicians and their patients so that they can have access to this technology. We couldn’t have built this business without the community,” Eleanor said.