Rochester, Minnesota


Driscoll.Colin@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Colin L. Driscoll, M.D., investigates the preservation and restoration of hearing and the optimal management of skull base tumors.

Hearing loss is the most common disability worldwide. Dr. Driscoll studies and develops new surgical strategies to preserve hearing and works with implantable devices to restore lost hearing.

Patients with benign skull base tumors can choose among different treatment options. Dr. Driscoll's research team is investigating which choice may provide the best quality of life for a particular patient.

Focus areas

  • Skull base tumors. Vestibular schwannomas and similar tumors can often be appropriately treated with observation, radiation or surgical removal. Each approach presents a unique set of risks and benefits, and it is often difficult to determine which choice will provide a specific patient the best quality of life. By better understanding quality of life from the patient's perspective, clinicians are more equipped to help them make good choices.
  • Cochlear implantation. Dr. Driscoll is involved in the development of a novel fully implanted cochlear implant that has received "breakthrough device" designation by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Driscoll and the cochlear implant team are using intraoperative, real-time monitoring techniques to investigate and refine methods for preventing loss of residual sensorineural hearing during surgical implantation.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Driscoll hopes that quality-of-life research will better equip patients to choose the best management strategy for their needs and expectations.

Patients with hearing loss often delay treatment with cochlear implants or avoid it altogether because of the externally worn components. A fully implanted cochlear implant overcomes this obstacle, offers considerable quality-of-life advantages over existing devices, and may allow for hearing 24/7.

Professional highlights

  • Chair, Mayo Clinic Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, 2011-2020
  • Chair, board of directors, American Cochlear Implant Alliance, 2016-2019


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
  2. Interim Chair, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Neurologic Surgery

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Neurosurgery
  2. Professor of Otolaryngology


  1. Fellow - Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery University of California, San Francisco
  2. Resident - Otorhinolaryngology Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  3. Resident Otolaryngology, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. Internship - General Surgery Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  5. MD University of New Mexico
  6. BA - Geology Pomona College

Clinical Studies

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