Rochester, Minnesota


Carlson.Matthew@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Matthew L. Carlson, M.D., is an ear surgeon who specializes in treating diseases of the middle ear, temporal bone and skull base. His primary research interests include clinical outcomes in cochlear implantation and acoustic neuroma tumors (vestibular schwannoma).

One area of particular interest is cochlear implantation surgery for patients with varying degrees of residual hearing. Traditionally, only patients with complete hearing loss in both ears were approved for cochlear implantation. Over the years, clinical outcomes with cochlear implantation have steadily improved, allowing more patients to benefit from this technology. As a result of ongoing clinical studies by Dr. Carlson and colleagues, additional indications such as hearing loss in only one ear and implantation in patients with less severe hearing loss will very likely become commonplace.

Dr. Carlson is also interested in quality of life outcome analysis for patients with vestibular schwannoma tumors. Treatment of these tumors is highly controversial. To date, most studies comparing treatment modalities including surgery, radiation and observation have compared measures such as hearing loss, facial nerve function and tumor control. In order to analyze outcomes beyond this narrow scope of data, Dr. Carlson uses quality-of-life measures to better understand patient-perceived outcomes in an effort to further refine treatment methods.

Focus areas

  • Cochlear implantation in patients with residual hearing
  • Hearing preservation with cochlear implantation
  • Cochlear implantation in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2
  • Vestibular schwannoma clinical outcomes
  • Quality of life in patients with vestibular schwannomas

Significance to patient care

Dr. Carlson hopes that his research will expand the clinical applications of hearing-restorative technologies such as cochlear implantation surgery, making more patients eligible to benefit from this surgery. Additionally, he works to improve quality of life for patients with vestibular schwannoma tumors, and to measure outcomes based on patients' perceptions of their treatment.

Professional highlights

  • Co-chair for Neurotology, Scientific Program Committee, North American Skull Base Society Annual Meeting, 2014
  • Best Abstract Award, 6th International Congress of the World Federation of Skull Base Societies and the 10th European Skull Base Society Congress, 2012


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Otorhinolaryngology

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Clinical Anatomy
  2. Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery

Administrative Appointment

  1. Chair, Division of Otology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Neurosurgery
  2. Professor of Otolaryngology


  1. Clinical Scholar Mayo Clinic Scholar, Otology, Neurotology & Skull Base Surgery, Vanderbilt University
  2. Resident - Department of Otorhinolaryngology Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. Resident Otolaryngology, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. Internship - Department of Surgery Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  5. MD University of Minnesota Medical School
  6. BS Bethel University

Clinical Studies

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