Dr. Vestal’s interest in urologic oncology was influenced by two very personal experiences. “My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in medical school, and my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer right after I completed my residency in urology,” he explains. “That’s when I decided I wanted to specialize in urological oncology—bladder, kidney, testicular and prostate cancer—with prostate cancer the condition I treat most.”
Seeing what his parents went through allows Dr. Vestal to relate to his patients and their families in a unique way.
“It makes conversations with my patients easier, and certainly more heartfelt,” he says. “As a patient, you put your entire life in the hands of someone you have to trust implicitly. How can you make good decisions about your treatment if you don’t like the person who’s helping you make those decisions? You need to know your physician cares and is looking out for your best interests. My patients often ask me, ‘What would you do?’ I don’t have to imagine what I would do. Instead, I answer from personal experience. I say, ‘This is what I told my dad when he had prostate cancer.’ It makes it more real to them. My family has gone through the same thing.”
As a founder of Urology Partners, Dr. Vestal is a highly skilled surgeon who specializes in treating kidney, bladder and prostate cancers. While he loves helping patients live cancer-free, he also feels a special calling—treating end-stage prostate cancer patients.
“I take out cancers all the time, cure a lot of people, and they go about their business and are fine,” he notes. “But with these guys, I see them all the time, get to know their families—it’s very personal. They may not live as long as they would like, but for these men and their families, making it to the next big event is priceless. It’s a way I can actually make a difference.”
Dr. Vestal was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but spent part of his childhood in Costa Rica and Chile before his family moved to Texas. He earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees at Texas A&M University in College Station. He completed his residency at Scott & White Clinic and Hospital and Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center. Afterward, Dr. Vestal served as fellow in urologic oncology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
With more than two decades in private practice and time as an assistant professor of surgery at Scott & White Clinic in College Station, Dr. Vestal’s expertise includes laparoscopic cryotherapy of kidney, bladder and prostate cancers. He and his wife, Kelly, live in the mid-cities area with their three children.