Two major abdominal surgeries left Hickory native Eve Agee with a large wound on her abdomen that was resistant to healing. The 14 by 20-inch wound cycled through periods of apparent healing, but then it would plateau, regress, drain continuously and become septic. The area was tender and inflamed.
What’s more, Agee, who had been widowed for years, was in the beginning stages of a new romance.
“I finally met the man of my dreams but I couldn’t dress myself, I couldn’t wear any of the clothes in my closet, I couldn’t even drive,” said Agee. “I was to the point that all my hair was falling out and was extremely distressed.”
Her surgeon, Ron Locke, MD referred her to the CVMC Center for Wound Healing in January, 2014. The wound center staff carefully devised an approach tailored to Agee’s wound and asked her to commit to an aggressive series of appointments starting with every other day treatments, slowly progressing to less frequent visits. Dr. Locke, whose practice is in the same building, periodically saw Agee during her Wound Center appointments. The team followed a healing protocol for Agee that promoted healing and skin rejuvenation over freshly granulated tissue with minimal damage to a donor site on the top of her thigh. She was given, and followed, specific nutrition guidelines to optimize healing. Eight months later, her wound has improved and is now the circumference of her little finger.
“I call the wound center staff my healing angels. I am very impressed with the sterile, comfortable environment here and the compassionate care I received,” said Agee. ”When they sensed I was discouraged, they were extremely patient. They took time to explain the meticulous plan to heal my wound to my fiancée, Dean Houser and even taught him how to change the wound dressings.”
The CVMC Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbarics has achieved outstanding healing rates and clinical outcomes over the three years it has been open. In treating patients with complicated wounds of varying types and physical locations, its medical stuff uses evidence-based guidelines specifically indicated for particular types of wounds.
“The field of wound care, like many other areas of health care, continues to evolve and we are continuously identifying enhanced treatments for chronic wounds,” said Director of the Wound Healing Center, Liane Schubring, RN, BSN MBA/MHA.“I am so proud of our staff for continuing to enhance their skills and increase their knowledge through education. There is not an area of the body that we haven’t treated.”
Why Live With an Unhealed Wound?
Schubring explains how the approach used at the center is based on first exploring why a wound is not healing. Sometimes this reason can be attributed to an underlying condition like diabetes, a compromised immune system or hypertension. Providers at the Wound Center collaborate with a patient’s other caregivers to systematically eliminate the underlying cause. If a wound is caused by cancer treatments that have destroyed healthy tissues adjacent cancerous cells or is the result of a burn, or surgery, other specific approaches are followed.
If you, a family member or a friend has a chronic wound (one that has not healed in the last 30 days), you can contact the Wound Care Center directly at Phone (828) 485-0924. All Wound Center services are performed on an outpatient basis. If a patient wants to self refer, they can make an appointment for a consultation as a physician referral is not required. Health insurance typically covers the treatments if the wound is acute, meaning that it has not healed after 30 days.