Health Check: Miriam Hospital opens new Kidney Stone Center

Mark Ward has been a patient of Dr. Gyan Pareek since he encountered a kidney stone two and a half years ago.

"And it came on very rapidly. I had felt pain in my abdomen area when I was out cycling and next day I had an upset stomach," Ward said.

By the following day, the pain was so bad he went to the hospital.

"Within an hour of arriving at the hospital, I was in surgery," Ward said.

"Mark had a very unique case. Mark has a solitary kidney and he ended up having a stone in that kidney that we ended up having to treat," said Pareek, director of the Kidney Stone Center at The Miriam Hospital.

Ward was born with only one kidney and the stone had caused a total blockage. That's why he underwent surgery. Normally, medications and hydration are enough, as well as other minimally invasive treatments.

"One of the important things to do now is prevent stones from recurring because they have a high chance of recurring. At least 50 percent can recur," Pareek said.

Pareek said that was the thinking behind The Miriam Hospital's new Kidney Stone Center. The center offers the latest in treatment options and prevention with access to several specialists.

"With a nutritionist, a nephrologist and an urologist, and the three of us will find a prevention strategy," Pareek said.

Ward said working with Mary Flynn, a nutritionist, has made a huge difference. He's now eating a plant-based diet.

"In the six months I've been on Mary's diet I've lost 15 pounds," he said.

The Kidney Stone Center at Miriam is the only center of its kind in Rhode Island.