Rochester, Minnesota


Foster.Trenton@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Trenton R. Foster, M.D., studies endocrine disorders with a particular interest in surgical therapies and outcomes within the field of endocrine surgery. Using national and institutional databases, Dr. Foster works to understand how endocrine surgical disease presents, behaves and determines the best therapies. He collaborates with colleagues in the Department of Surgery and in a multidisciplinary fashion with other departments to combine expertise from endocrinologists, radiologists and pathologists. Dr. Foster's goal is to advance the understanding of endocrine surgical treatment so patients are offered the best treatment options for their specific situation.

Focus areas

  • Disease of the thyroid with a particular interest in evaluating optimal extent of surgery for differentiated thyroid cancer. This helps in determining who does better with a limited thyroid lobectomy versus a more extensive surgical resection.
  • Diseases of the parathyroid gland with a particular interest in evaluating optimal preoperative imaging localization to allow for focused parathyroid exploration in appropriate cases. Dr. Foster studies the optimal treatment strategies for patients with multigland parathyroid hyperplasia more commonly seen in cases of genetic conditions such as MEN1 and MEN2a.
  • Diseases of the adrenal gland with a particular interest in improving the preoperative workup to differentiate malignant from benign adrenal disease. Dr. Foster researches optimizing perioperative and postoperative management of changes in hormonal activity after resection of a functional adrenal tumor.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Foster's research benefits patient care by offering improved preoperative evaluation of endocrine surgical disease as well as optimizing the perioperative and postoperative care of patients with these conditions. Dr. Foster uses research to tailor his surgical practice to the specific needs of a given patient. His scientific inquiry has led to advances in understanding how best to evaluate patients with preoperative imaging and the extent of surgery that is needed for certain conditions. He has also helped identify patients who benefit from outpatient surgery and shorter hospital stays. His findings improve postoperative care and enhance the patient experience while maintaining safe and effective surgical treatment of endocrine disorders.

Professional highlights

  • Physician lead, Collaborative Endocrine Surgery Quality Improvement Program (CESQIP), Mayo Clinic, 2021-present.
  • Member, Quality Improvement Committee, Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 2020-present.


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery

Academic Rank

  1. Assistant Professor of Surgery


  1. Fellow Endocrine Surgery, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. Residency Yale University School of Medicine
  3. MD University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
  4. BS University of Wisconsin

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