Mercy's Dr. Jonathan Rich and Nephrologist, Dr. Robert Greenwell Discuss Kidney Stones

November 19, 2018
Urinary System Abnormalities

If you've ever passed a kidney stone, you know how painful it can be. Approximately 19 million people experience kidney stones every year, and research shows people with kidney stones have a significantly higher risk of reoccurrence.

"I'm not able to (take) care of my son when I have issues like this," said new mom Liz Ciociola.

Ciociola has suffered from passing kidney stones for years, but it became worse when she was pregnant.

"I had my first issue about two months into the pregnancy and I was a little bit alarmed," Ciociola said.

In all, she passed five kidney stones. She collected them, something her doctor, Mercy Medical Center nephrologist Dr. Robert Greenwell, suggests whenever possible, because not all kidney stones are created equal.

"The majority of stones are calcium-based stones, but there are other kinds of stones present, so if they're passed, we can collect those and then we can analyze the type of stone for the particular type, and that would dictate the therapy for prevention," Dr. Greenwell said.

Tests revealed the type of stones Ciociola had and it's likely manageable. Doctors modified her diet and increased her water intake.

A kidney stone can remain symptomless, but when it moves to the duct where urine passes from the kidney to the bladder the pain becomes intense.

According to Mercy’s Jonathan Rich, D.O., it is always smart to follow up with a doctor after passing a stone.

"You sometimes don't know if you passed the stone. There may be other stones in there. Some of the stones can get infected, they can cause kidney infections, so it can be quite dangerous," Dr. Rich said.

Ciociola is loving being a new mom and is glad she took steps to prevent kidney stones in the future.

"I want to make sure I'm the healthiest I can be to give him the best care that I can," she said.

View Drs. Greenwell and Jonathan Rich's interview regarding kidney stone risk.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

News and Events