Savoring Simple Pleasures, One Step at a Time

Methodist Wound Treatment Center helps patient heal after cancer surgery

When Nichol Langley arrived for her first appoint­ment at Methodist Wound Treatment Center, she had already been through a lot. What began with a seemingly simple symptom had led to a battle against a rare form of cancer and a challenging surgery.

But her fight didn’t end there. Langley needed ex­pert help to recover from her surgery. The incision from her cancer surgery wouldn’t fully heal and she was at risk of developing critical complications.

The specialists at Meth­odist Medical Center Wound Treatment Center were there to help.

The Surprise of Sarcoma

“I noticed swelling in my left inner thigh on September 9, 2022, which led me to visit my primary care physician,” Langley recalls. Her initial X-ray results were unremarkable, and she was prescribed anti-inflammatories with the recommendation of an MRI if the swelling persisted.

Langley’s condition wors­ened, leading to an MRI of her knee and a referral to an orthopaedic oncology spe­cialist. In late October, she received a surprising diag­nosis of myxoid spindle cell sarcoma-differentiated lipo­sarcoma, a rare form of fatty tissue cancer.

“I found out that less than 20,000 cases are diagnosed per year,” Langley says.

After 25 sessions of radi­ation, Langley was present­ed with two options: surgery to remove the tumor and cancer cells or undergoing an amputation. Although the surgery would spare her leg, there was a chance blood flow to her leg would be damaged and she would have to walk with some sort of assistance for the rest of her life.

It was a difficult decision that didn’t come easily, but Langley chose surgery, and the procedure was deemed successful.

Back home with hope for a fresh start in March 2023, Langley still faced challenges. Chief among them was a wound on the incision where the tu­mor had been removed. It wouldn’t go away and didn’t seem to be get­ting better, so Langley’s surgeon recommended a wound clinic.

Healing Treatments

A friend who is a nurse told Langley about the Methodist Wound Treat­ment Center. The special­ized team, composed of physicians and clinicians trained in hyperbaric med­icine and advanced wound care, evaluated Langley’s condition meticulously and suggested a treatment plan to facilitate healing.

Langley’s treatment in­cluded 30 sessions of hyper­baric oxygen (HBO) thera­py. Wounds that don’t heal properly sometimes don’t get enough oxygen because of blockage of the arteries, infection or even trauma.

HBO helps kill bacteria, fights infections and stimu­lates tissue so it can grow more small vessels in the body to improve circula­tion and promote healing. Patients recline inside a transparent tube and breathe pure oxygen in a pressurized environment.

“It’s feeding the nerves, the tendons, the muscles, the bones,” says Deena Jenkins, RN, clinical manager. “Hy­perbaric oxygen treatment is completely saturating the whole body versus just carry­ing it though red blood cells when you breathe oxygen.”

Langley’s treatment plan didn’t end there. She also was referred to Method­ist Therapy Services for lymphedema therapy to help with lymphatic flow problems associated with her radiation treatment. She also had 62 days of vacuum-assisted closure, commonly referred to as “wound vac.” The wound vac helps damaged tissue rise to the surface and heal from the bottom up.

 God is good! He used the staff at the wound clinic to help with the final phase of the healing process. There were days when I struggled with my progress. On those days, they went above and beyond the caretaker role and were more like friends. I would highly recommend their team of professionals!

Healed and Whole

Slowly but surely, the wound treatments worked. Langley’s leg healed, and her quality of life was restored.

Her determination and unwavering faith, combined with the expertise of her medical team, was instru­mental in her recovery. To­day, Langley isn’t just hap­py to be alive and walking. She is savoring the simple pleasures of life, like slip­ping into a pair of favorite blue jeans and showering without needing a water­proof dressing on her leg.

For more information about Methodist Wound Treatment Center visit or call 865-835-3740.

Nichol Langley celebrates her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with her husband, Mark, and their son, Kaleb. She’s looking forward to enjoying more of life’s special moments in the future.

When Nichol Langley’s wound wouldn’t heal, specialists at Methodist Medical Center Wound Treatment Center were there to help.

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