This day celebrates the first time an angioplasty was performed in 1964.
What is Without a Scalpel Day?
Without a Scalpel Day is an initiative to perform procedures without invasive surgeries or diagnostics. This day is also to advocate for the patient to have the ability to exercise agency over their own bodies and to make informed decisions and be educated about all treatment options.
Where It All Started
This day also celebrates the day Charles T Dotter performed the first peripheral angioplasty without a scalpel in 1964. Dotter successfully used a catheter on an 82-year-old woman who was suffering from lack of circulation in her leg due to her toes becoming gangrenous and refusing amputation. That was just the beginning - Dotter began refining and inventing new catheters and wires, working with Bill Cook, founder of Cook Medical. The vascular surgical community in the United States rejected Dotter’s ideas, but Eberhardt Zeitler of Germany brought his techniques back to Europe - and so the progress of innovative medical technology began. Zeitler and Andreas Gruentzig, an angiologist, came up with a design for a balloon catheter and years later after the help of Dr. Richard Myler of San Francisco, Gruentzig performed the first coronary angioplasty in 1977.
A Company Dedicated to the Cause
Guerbet, a France-based manufacturer of contrast agents used in medical imaging, was founded in 1926 by André Guerbet, the son of Marcel Guerbet, who in 1901 discovered Lipiodol – the first iodinated X-ray contrast agent. This company is dedicated to providing innovative image-guided solutions to the interventional medical community to help physicians advance their patients treatments and outcomes.
How to Celebrate and Advocate
The Interventional Initiative is a non-profit that aims to educate and engage the public about the value of minimally invasive, image-guided procedures (MIIPs), providing resources to help educate about the up and coming technology through public-centric multimedia production and social media initiatives. They also provide glossary definitions, documentaries, and other resources.
You can celebrate or get involved by donating or attending their events, following them on social media, and using their provided infographics and content #WithoutAScalpelDay. You can also have a viewing party of Without a Scalpel with friends and share patient stories of your own.
This day and movement only continues by the work we put into progress.