Our Mission & Practice History
To deliver the highest quality care that provides our patients with the best customer experience and outcomes possible.
Pacific Urology achieves this by delivering experienced and skilled professionals in the field of urology and healthcare, focusing on excellent customer service, leveraging cutting-edge technology and operating in a fiscally responsible manner.
The patient’s experience is our number-one priority.
What is experience?
- Providing our patients with respect and courtesy
- Providing pioneering medical expertise
- Convenience in clinic locations and surgery centers
- Providing the highest quality service through qualified, dedicated physicians and staff
History of Pacific Urology
Pacific Urology was formed in 1995 when six urologists in solo practice joined together to form a group practice.
“It had become obvious to us at the time that it was becoming impossible to remain in solo practice due to the changing healthcare environment,” says Dr. Stephen Taylor, one of the founding physicians still with the practice. “By forming Pacific Urology, we would be able to obtain and maintain all the latest technological innovations, and by working together we would share our knowledge and experience, resulting in continuous quality improvements. This has translated into improved outcomes for our patients.”
The group’s original mission statement was to provide “university quality of care” in a private practice setting, right in the patients’ community – in other words, to deliver urological treatments as good as those available in the leading university hospitals, eliminating the requirement of patients to travel to such a facility. In fact, the physicians at Pacific Urology began performing robotic surgery utilizing the da Vinci robot in 2002, long before the universities in the Bay Area.
Committed to advanced surgeries & technology
In the years since its inception, Pacific Urology has acquired the latest technology available in ultrasound, microwave therapy, TUNA (Prostiva TransUrethral Needle Ablation), and computerized charting. These services are offered in the convenience of our offices.
Pacific Urology has grown from its original two offices in Walnut Creek and Concord to branch offices in Brentwood and San Ramon. As some of the original founding urologists retired, their partners have worked to replace them with bright, energetic urologists trained in some of the most acclaimed university hospitals: University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles, University of Rochester New York, University California San Francisco, Ohio State University and McGill University in Montreal.
Access to the latest technology, expertise in advanced surgeries and shared knowledge among the doctors are why our patients come from the San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California and across the nation.
In January 2012, Pacific Urology joined practices with Diablo Valley Oncology/Hematology Medical Group, forming Contra Costa County’s first private multispecialty group of its kind.
Because urology and oncology are complementary specialties, the practices are now able to deliver an unprecedented level of continuity in care to patients requiring both specialty services. The new business structure allows doctors and nurses from different specialties to work unusually closely on many cases.
Changes in Urology Treatment
Pacific Urology partners strongly agree on one problem: the misperception that urology treatment requires surgery, long recovery times, outcomes that are not guaranteed or life-changing side effects.
“The truth is, it’s almost painless, quick and easy because of advancements in medical technology,” says Dr. Stephen Taylor, founding partner at Pacific Urology.
Robotic surgery – along with non-invasive and minimally invasive techniques –allows urologists to enhance the quality of lives with greater ease than ever before. “Urology has come a long way in the last 30 years,” Stephen Taylor says.
“Twenty percent of what we did when we came out of medical school was open kidney stone surgery. We haven’t done that since 1985,” says Taylor.
Prostate biopsy, once a surgical procedure, has become an everyday test for urologists and is now painless for patients. Prostate cancer, traditionally considered a death sentence, is becoming more easily detectable early, allowing immediate treatment that is saving lives.
“Before the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test, 90 percent of patients with prostate cancer presented to us at incurable stages. Now with the PSA, we can detect it 90 percent of the time when it is still potentially curable. Instantaneous painless ultrasound guided biopsies performed in a thousandth of a second to establish a diagnosis are a breakthrough,” says Taylor.
“As time went on our diagnostic tools have become better. When advanced imaging machines like CT scans and MRIs were developed, we rarely had to perform exploratory surgeries. These scans allowed us to determine if there was need for surgery,” says Taylor.
Not only did CT scans and MRIs become routine tools for urologists, technology continued to advance so the scans became clearer and easier to read. This continued the trend towards faster and more accurate diagnosis.
“In 1987 technology advanced to the point where we could have ultrasound machines in our office. Before that time, they were very expensive and the resolution wasn’t very good. With the improvements in computer technology the images became dramatically better and easy to read,” Taylor says, adding that ultrasound “revolutionized” prostate cancer diagnosis.
But what many doctors consider to be the greatest revolution yet in urology is less than ten years old: minimally invasive robotic surgery.
“When the da Vinci robot came out, it specifically found a niche in urology. We felt like it was developed for urologists. There are very few procedures that we are still required to perform with open incisions,” Taylor notes. Looking to the future of medicine, Taylor foresees a day when cancer will be curable.
“I think within the next ten years kidney cancer will be treated with a pill or a shot as opposed to surgery,” says Taylor. “I think that may be true for all the cancers.”