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Every day, doctors perform valuable, life-saving procedures at a very low risk to the patient when they make use of advanced technology through minimally invasive “surgical” procedures. Learn more about this important way of treating a wide range of medical issues in honor of National Without a Scalpel Day. 

History of National Without a Scalpel Day

National Without a Scalpel Day was established in 2015 in cooperation with the Interventional Initiative. The purpose behind the day is to show appreciation for the medical and scientific advances that have allowed for less invasive procedures and to encourage continued pursuit of advanced technology.

The celebration date was chosen in commemoration of a ground-breaking event in medical history when, on January 16, 1964, Dr. Charles Dotter performed the first angioplasty. This non-invasive procedure allowed the patient to avoid open surgery, large scars and a more difficult recovery. Instead, the patient walked away with only a tiny bandage.

Since that time, interventional radiology has allowed millions of patients to receive the care that they need using x-ray technology and other minimally invasive image-guided procedures (MIIP) to see inside the body and better treat disease.

National Without a Scalpel Day shares its name with a four episode documentary series of network television shows that premiered in 2016 and won two Telly Awards.

How to Celebrate National Without a Scalpel Day

Get involved and show some support for this fascinating advance in medical procedures by celebrating National WIthout a Scalpel Day including some of these ideas:

Learn Benefits of Procedures Without a Scalpel 

Obviously only a doctor can determine which type of medical procedure will be appropriate for patients on an individual and case-by-case basis. However, informed patients are better equipped to discuss their options and make educated decisions when presented with different scenarios. One excellent way to celebrate National Without a Scalpel Day might be to engage with some information and learn about the benefits that have come from MIIP technology.

Consider some of these known benefits of non-invasive procedures and learn more in honor of the day:

  • MIIP causes less physical trauma because the surgeon typically does not need to cut through muscles or other tissues to perform the procedure.

  • Many MIIP procedures can be performed on an out-patient basis with fewer hospital stays and often a much quicker recovery time.

  • Minimally invasive surgery causes small or no scarring, often nothing more than the size of a mosquito bite.

  • These types of surgeries have lower risk of complications because there is little blood loss and a much lower risk of infection.

Watch Without a Scalpel

This documentary series offers an interesting look into the world of non-invasive “surgery” that has offered unique alternatives to regular people who are in the midst of a medical crisis. From blocked blood vessels and cancer to aneurysms and pelvic congestion syndrome, the stories are told about the ways patients’ lives have been transformed through this cutting-edge technology – all without the need for a scalpel. Celebrate National Without a Scalpel Day by learning more through these fascinating short documentaries.

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