A doctor's artistic touch eases the pain of surgery

Dr. Riehle
↓ Advertisement ↓


With a scalpel in hand, Dr. Kimberly Riehle can make an incision with precision. Not only is she a skilled pediatric surgeon at Seattle Children's, she's also an artist of sorts.

But, Dr. Riehle knows she's no Rembrant.

"No, I have no artistic talent," claimed Riehle.

↓ Advertisement ↓

Even so, she creatively cuts shapes out of gauze and then displays her art where it can be best appreciated.

Riehle explained, "And that (gauze) just goes on the belly button or where ever the surgical site was."

Dr. Riehle's gallery of work includes bandages made in the shapes of everything from trains to trees.

"Hearts and stars are the most common that I do because you can make them small," she said.

Dr. Riehle designs each bandage to match the interests of her patients.

"There was one girl who was obsessed with the band One Direction," Riehle explained. "So for her, I cut out a gauze with their logo on it, 1-D."

Today, Dr. Riehle performs minor surgery on the leg of a little girl. She plans to cover the stitches with one of her cut outs.

"I'm going to try and make a flower," said Riehle during surgery.

It may not be ornate or elaborate, but in the eyes of the beholder, it is a beautiful way to ease the pain of surgery for patients and their parents.

"I almost want to remind them that their child is going to get better, and get back to the things they normally like to do," said Riehle.