No surgery, no stitches, no scars…

We observe National Without a Scalpel Day each year on January 16. The first angioplasty, a ground-breaking procedure to open a blocked blood vessel, was performed on this day in 1964 in Portland, Oregon, by pioneer physician Charles Dotter. This angioplasty allowed the patient to avoid leg amputation surgery. She left the hospital days later with only a Band-Aid.

In doing so, Dr. Dotter created the cutting-edge medical specialty called Interventional Radiology, where doctors treat disease through a tiny pinhole instead of open surgery. These doctors use x-rays and other medical imaging to see inside the body while they treat disease. These advances changed all of medicine.

Today, minimally invasive, image-guided procedures (MIIP) can treat a broad range of diseases throughout the body, in adults and children:• cancer• heart disease• stroke• aneurysms• life-threatening bleeding• infertility• fibroids• kidney stones• back pain• infections• blocked blood vessels• many other conditions

Even though trained specialists perform MIIP throughout the world, many people do not know about MIIP or if they could benefit from these life-changing treatments. The Interventional Initiative was established to raise awareness and educate the public about MIIP.

Yes, I know, it is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Do Nothing Day, Religious Freedom Day and Fig Newton Day. This was the day I had not heard of, but know many people who have benefitted from no scalpel use, so thought I would share the history of it. A big thank you to revolutionary doctors like Dr. Charles Dotter and our modern medicine.