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A provider helps a patient prepare for an X-Ray of their foot and ankle.

Lead-Based Shields No Longer Recommended for Routine X-Rays

Today medical experts know that shielding patients’ reproductive organs during routine imaging exams is not only unnecessary, it can actually increase the risk for radiation exposure, said Robert Reiman, MD, a radiation risk specialist at Duke Health. That’s why lead-based shields will no longer be used during routine imaging exams for most patients at Duke Health clinics, starting in October. The change, which Duke calls “Shed the Lead,” follows recommendations from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and other organizations including the American College of Radiology (ACR).

John White stands on a path with a marsh and a boat in the background

Hepatitis B-Positive Liver Transplant Saves Charleston Man with End-Stage Liver Disease

John White endured countless hospital visits, falls, disorientation, and pain before he was diagnosed with a host of conditions including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver cirrhosis. Yet his MELD score -- a measurement of liver health -- wasn’t enough to get him what he needed to live a healthier life -- a liver transplant. Thanks to Carl Berg, MD, a transplant hepatologist at Duke Health, White took advantage of a new offering only available at a handful of centers in the U.S., a liver transplant from a hepatitis B-positive donor. Today the 59-year-old is healthy, hepatitis-free, and back to enjoying life.

Bridget Esposito smiles outside

Awake Surgery for Endovascular Brain Aneurysm Repair Lowers Risks, Speeds Recovery

After being diagnosed with an unruptured brain aneurysm in fall 2021, Bridget Esposito learned she needed brain surgery to prevent a life-threatening rupture. The thought of receiving general anesthesia made her uncomfortable because she’d experienced bad side effects in the past. Then her Duke neurosurgeon told her about a new option called “awake surgery.” It would allow Esposito to be sedated but remain conscious instead of undergoing general anesthesia. “It was very easy,” said Esposito after her successful awake surgery. “I could have walked out of there right afterwards. That's how great I felt.”

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