OakBend Medical Center Introduces Brand New State-Of-The-Art Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center

Sarfraz Aly, MD and Magdalena Benavides LVN, MHA.

Sarfraz Aly, MD and Magdalena Benavides LVN, MHA.

COVER STORY  | Photos by Kelley Sweet Photography –

OakBend Medical Center is very excited to introduce its new Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic for wound care and hyperbaric services at 1705 Jackson Street in Richmond, located on the first floor. One of the few facilities in Fort Bend County to offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy for patients with hard-to-heal wounds that are not responding to traditional healing methods, OakBend’s new and improved facility showcases renovated flooring, soothing classical music and soft lighting, all designed to make each patient feel relaxed and welcome.

“OakBend’s highly skilled team of physicians, nurses and wound care specialists have advanced training and unmatched experience in wound healing in Fort Bend County,” said Christina Marquez, director of the new Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic. “We offer some of the newest and most advanced equipment along with sophisticated therapies to treat specific wound care needs.”

Dr. Sarfraz Aly is one of the many physicians at OakBend who utilizes the hyperbaric chamber with the help of his expertise in infection control to treat his patients and get them back
to full recovery.

Defining Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was originally used to treat deep sea divers who were thought to be suffering from the formation of air embolisms due to a too rapid ascent from their deep-sea dive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been in use for about 40 years, so it is not new to Fort Bend County, but now there is a state-of-the-art facility, totally updated with the latest technological advances, right here in the heart of the Richmond/Rosenberg community.    

The Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic will aid wound healing by supplying oxygen to the wound. According to the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Association, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) acts as a bactericidal, stops toxin production and promotes tissue growth to heal difficult wounds. During the procedure, a patient is placed in a compression chamber with increased pressure between 2.0 and 2.5 atmospheres absolute for 60 to 120 minutes, once or twice daily. In the chamber, the patient inhales 100% oxygen. Treatment usually runs for 15 to 20 sessions.   

Conditions Treated by Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) at OakBend is a treatment used to speed up the healing process of gangrene, stubborn wounds and infections in which tissues are starved for oxygen. OakBend’s patients breathe 100% oxygen inside a chamber that is pressurized at two to three times greater than atmospheric pressure. Increasing the partial pressure of oxygen allows it to dissolve in the plasma, leaving the plasma supersaturated with oxygen. The increase in tissue oxygenation works to combat bacteria and promote angiogenesis.

Within OakBend Medical Center’s new Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic, there is a monoplace chamber, which is a long plastic tube that resembles an MRI machine. At OakBend, each case is personally evaluated by a Wound Care and Hyperbaric specialist so that the most successful outcome is achieved for each individual patient. Careful monitoring during the treatment sessions and follow-up by OakBend’s team is always precisely documented.


What OakBend Patients are Saying About
The New Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center

While Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is not appropriate for all patients, it is an effective therapy for many patients with wounds that will not heal properly.  An individualized care plan by an OakBend physician will determine if Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is the right course of treatment for you.

Some previous patients of OakBend’s new Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic have achieved amazing outcomes and have had had glowing remarks about OakBend Medical Center.

“Wound Care Center is best in the state.”

                                                        – JB

“Have always had great service and friendly staff.”

                                                         – D

“I absolutely love this doctor’s office.”

                                                         – K


For more information about the Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic,
located at 1705 Jackson Street in Richmond, call 281-633-4900 or visit


The Technology and Treatment Process

Patients have said that OakBend’s hyperbaric chamber looks like a small submarine. It is a hard-shelled pressure vessel made of steel and aluminum with view ports (windows) made of acrylic. The chamber has a human entry hatch, an airtight door to the hatch, and a gurney to lie on so that the patient can comfortably enter and exit the chamber. The patient is attended by a certified HBOT technician who never leaves the patient during the entire treatment process.

To begin the treatment process, patients put on special cotton scrubs, because no metal objects are allowed for safety reasons. HBOT technicians teach patients a specific procedure to “clear” their ears as the dive proceeds. This is no different than going up in an airplane, where a person chews gum or swallows several times in order for the air pressure to equalize behind their ear drums.

Next, the patient lays on a gurney, and the technician slides the patient into place inside the chamber. Once the hatch closes, the quiet is all encompassing. The technician is visible through the view port. OakBend’s two-way intercom allows the technician to stay in constant communication with the patient. The patient is then instructed to put on an oxygen mask, and the technician adjusts it to fit properly and comfortably. One hundred percent pure O2 is flowing in. The “dive” is just about to begin!

According to Dr. Joe Anzaldua, family practice specialist at OakBend Medical Center, “Chronic wounds include, but are not limited to, diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers and pressure ulcers. Although often difficult to treat, an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and specific attention toward managing these perturbations can often lead to successful healing. Our community now has the best of the best for diagnosing and treating our community.”

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Right for You?

Magdalena Benavides LVN, MHA, Regional Director of the wound care unit, oversees the daily operations of the Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic as OakBend cares for countless patients daily.

If a patient has a wound that doesn’t heal properly, this may involve underlying issues. Underlying issues may include health issues, medications and other treatments and lifestyle factors. If the patient is battling a chronic health issue, it can lower the body’s ability to heal. Common health problems that may affect healing, include diabetes, cancer, pulmonary disease, heart conditions, thyroid issues and GI diseases. Along with cancer, chemo and radiation can also have a great impact on the healing of a patient’s wound.

Of all the underlying health causes, diabetes makes up the majority of chronic wounds in patients. A diabetic patient’s wound heals slowly and can worsen rapidly, and therefore, requires close monitoring. Some factors that may interrupt the process of wound healing in a diabetic patient include elevated blood sugar, narrowed blood vessels that leads to decreased blood flow and oxygen, diabetic neuropathy (which causes a loss of sensation in the affected limb), immune system deficiency and infection.

Each year, about 80,000 adults with diabetes undergo a leg or foot amputation. Now, with the help of OakBend’s highly skilled doctors, nurses and wound care specialists, as well as the new and improved medical equipment, physicians hope to tackle the wound before it reaches the point of no return. Of course, it is important to disclose all prior healthcare concerns regarding one’s wound when seeking wound care treatment. OakBend wound care specialists will check for these factors before deciding on a course of wound care treatment, to ensure the patient has optimal healing.

Diets Role in Healing

Along with OakBend Medical Center’s new Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center treatment, a diet plays an immense role in the process of the healing journey. It is necessary to keep the body hydrated, ensuring that one drinks six to eight cups of water a day and follows their physician’s orders. Dehydration can reduce the efficiency of blood circulation causing less oxygen to reach the wounded area. Protein deficiency can weaken the rebuilding stage of wound healing, causing damage to collagen production. Impairment of collagen production can lead to an increased risk of infection, as well as a reduction in wound strength. The main source of energy in one’s body and wound healing comes from carbohydrates and fats. Cell membranes are created with the use of fatty acids, and one needs to increase intake to ensure proper healing maintenance.

OakBend’s Commitment to Individualized  Care Plans

OakBend CEO Joe Freudenberger.

Overcoming the factors that contribute to delayed healing are key components of OakBend’s comprehensive approach to wound care and present the primary challenges to the treatment of chronic wounds. When wounds fail to achieve sufficient healing after four weeks of standard care, reassessment of underlying pathology and consideration of the need for advanced therapeutic agents may be undertaken.

“Realizing the importance of a speedy recovery for everyone in our community, OakBend is committed to bringing the most advanced techniques for treating the most complex and slow healing wounds,” said Joe Freudenberger, CEO. “With our brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, our specialists are even more equipped to implement personalized care plans for each patient.”

OakBend Medical Center’s Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic is a highly specialized outpatient wound care treatment center dedicated to the care of patients with wounds. Since non-healing wounds rarely result from a single cause, OakBend treats the whole person, not just the wound. OakBend’s approach to wound care is aggressive and comprehensive, coordinating traditional and advanced therapies that aid and accelerate the healing process.  Their team of experienced wound care specialists will assess each patient’s symptoms, determine the underlying cause of the non-healing wounds and customize the most effective treatment plan to stimulate healing. An OakBend wound care specialist will utilize best practices with a thorough patient evaluation and diagnostic testing to determine wound care procedures. An individualized care plan is then developed using evidence-based therapies that are highly effective in facilitating the healing process.

A non-healing wound should be a major concern. OakBend Medical Center’s new and state-of-the-art Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center is now one of the community’s top facilities for diagnosing and treating wound care needs. Don‘t wait! Contact the new and state-of-the-art Thomas Brother’s Wound Care Clinic at 281-633-4900 or https://www.oakbendmedcenter.org/service/wound-care-center.