Well before the American Civil War, without benefit of anesthetics and without antiseptics, Dr. Valentine Mott performed some of the first successful operations on the large human arteries, becoming best known for performing the first successful ligation of the innominate artery.
A native of Long Island who received his medical degree from Columbia College, New York, in 1806, he became one of the most highly regarded American surgeons in his own lifetime (1785-1865).
Throughout his long career, Dr. Mott occupied prestigious medical appointments at Columbia College (now University), the now defunct Rutgers Medical College in New York City (which he helped to found), and the University Medical College of New York (now New York University Medical College) where he was chief of operative surgery, and from which he finally retired. There he was known as an exceptional teacher and initiated the system for formal hospital clinics. His contributions to vascular medicine were so significant that he has been given the title “father of American vascular surgery” by physician and medical historian, Dr. Ira Rutkow.
In his own era, Dr. Mott was also a political force in medicine, something of a patient advocate and a visionary. He was commissioned to write a report to the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, in which he extolled the role of modern anesthetics in pain management and in the improvement of surgical outcomes.
This is what he had to say about Hahnemann after he visited him during his visit to Europe.
“Hahnemann is one of the most accomplished and scientific physicians of the present age.”