What started as a small endeavor under founder Dr Raymond Yow — the first urologist on the Eastern Shore — has grown into a bustling practice in Salisbury and Berlin, Md., with four doctors, one physician’s assistant and one nurse practitioner. And Peninsula Urology Associates recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of their new satellite office in Millville. They are now offering services in the Halpern Eye Associates building on Route 26.
Typically, each of the practice’s fours doctors will come to Millville once or twice a month. The opening has already proven convenient to local patients — and hours will expand as patient demand in the area increases.
“It is more convenient,” said Dr. Doyle Maull, one of the four urologists on staff. “Quite a few patients today were already established patients that happen to live near here and they are very pleased with the shorter trip.”
Urologists have been trained in general surgery and then in their specialty, urology. They can deal with all types of problems with the genitals and urinary tract in men: kidneys, prostate, cancers and kidney stones, etc. In females, they deal with a lot of urinary tract infections, incontinence, or other urinary problems. In fact, the nurse practitioner on staff at Peninsula Urology is female and deals with many issues relating to females and incontinence.
Maull explained that, for all medical students, there comes a fork in the road where they choose medicine or surgery. With a father who was a trauma surgeon, Maull ended up picking surgery and then his specialty — urology.
“I grew up around it,” he said. “And urology is a nice mix of medicine and surgery.”
“We see newborns to 90-year-olds,” he continued. “We have pediatric cases and young people, but the bulk of our patients are men in their 50’s with problems related to prostate enlargement, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).”
Maull went on to explain that 1 in 6 men will eventually get prostate cancer.
One of the things that sets Peninsula Urology Associates apart is the use of the daVinci laparoscopic surgical system — a system “designed to scale, filter and seamlessly translate the surgeon’s hand movements into more precise movements.”
With the robotic system, the surgeon sits at a console and can see what is happening inside the patient through a viewfinder. The surgeon then puts his hands through cuffs and what he does with the master controllers is communicated to the arms of the robot. This added precision of the robotic system allows the surgeons to get to traditionally difficult-to-access areas, such as the prostate, and to spare the nerve bundles that sometimes get injured during more traditional procedures.
“The instruments for laparoscopy are like working with chopsticks,” said Maull. “The advantage over traditional laparoscopy is the instruments allow much more precision and range of motion. It allows you to pinch and push and rotate. The robotic arm allows you to operate as if you were right there, with much more precision. And the daVinci is ever-expanding. Some cardiac surgeons are starting to use it, and some gynecologists.”
He explained that the system is a perfect fit for procedures like a prostatectomy, or removal of the prostate, because of the prostate’s unique location.
“It works for the difficult-to-access areas. The prostate is a very hard-to-get-to area. [The prostatectomy] is very well-suited for robotic surgery,” he said. “It also allows you to see the anatomy like we’ve never seen it before.”
In addition to the robotic arms, the daVinci offers a scope that the doctor can look through and view things magnified in three-dimensional high definition.
As to why he chose urology as a specialty, Maul cited those technological advances among his reasons. “Because I get to do stuff like that, and it is fun!” he said.
Besides the new Millville office, Peninsula Urology Associates offers its office in Berlin and its ambulatory center in Salisbury. While most major surgeries are performed at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, minor surgical procedures – such as vasectomies and prostate biopsies – can be performed at the ambulatory center. For regular doctor appointments, patients can be seen in Millville.
In addition to Maull, the three other urologists on staff at Peninsula Urology Associations are Dr. Mark T. Edney, Dr. Harold I. Genvert and Dr. Thomas M. DeMarco, who is the senior partner. For more information, visit the Web site at www.penurology.com or call the office at (410) 546-2133.