Nicholas M. Wetjen, M.D.

  1. Neurosurgeon
  2. Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Dr. Wetjen has clinical and research interests in the following areas as well as expertise in:

  • Pediatric epilepsy surgery. Dr. Wetjen's pediatric epilepsy surgery research is directed at the investigation of imaging and EEG signatures to more precisely locate where seizures arise in the brain. In addition, he has an interest in combining imaging for use in the operating room to make surgery more accurate by developing technology for less invasive epilepsy surgery, including the use of stimulation technology for treating epilepsy.
  • Craniofacial surgery and craniosynostosis. Studies are underway in the Craniofacial Clinic to understand the relationship between craniosynostosis and gene expression, to better quantify differences in head shape results after surgery, and to develop patient-centered outcomes of success following endoscopic and open craniosynostosis surgery.
  • Fetal surgery. The Mayo Clinic Fetal Treatment Center is at the cutting edge of developing new techniques to improve outcomes related to the repair of spina bifida prior to birth. Dr. Wetjen and his team are investigating less invasive approaches to fetal surgery and improving upon spina bifida closure techniques to improve outcomes for the baby and mother.
  • Pediatric occipitocervical junction, cervical spine surgery and Chiari malformation. Dr. Wetjen's goal is to better define which patients improve following surgery by developing clinical prediction rules, to understand the natural history of pediatric cervical and occipitocervical anomalies with the timing of surgical intervention in patients with Chiari malformation, and to develop patient-centered outcomes of surgical success following Chiari surgery.
  • Pediatric skull base surgery and developmental malformations of the skull, brain and spine. Brain computer interface and limb reanimation technology is being developed for the treatment of impaired neurological function in patients with congenital and traumatic injuries of the central nervous system. Studies are ongoing to understand gait development in children with spina bifida and how early intervention with neuroprosthetic and neuroregenerative technologies may help recover function in these children.
  • Pediatric cerebrovascular surgery, moyamoya disease and arteriovenous malformations. The Mayo Clinic Children's Center has multidisciplinary experts in diseases of the blood vessels of the brain and spinal cord. Dr. Wetjen's research focuses on defining which patients benefit from early surgery and which types of imaging studies best help in making that decision.
  1. Brain AVM
  2. Chiari malformation
  3. Moyamoya disease
  4. Myelopathy
  5. Pediatric brain tumor
  6. Spina bifida
  1. Arteriovenous malformation surgery
  2. Chiari malformation surgery
  3. Epilepsy surgery
  4. Pediatric brain tumor surgery
  5. Pediatric cervical spine surgery
  • Spina bifida surgery
  • Pediatric cervical spine surgery
  • Pediatric epilepsy surgery
  • Pediatric Chiari malformation surgery
  • Pediatric brain tumor surgery
  • Moyamoya disease
  • Cranial malformations
  • Congenital spinal anomalies
  • Pediatric arteriovenous surgeries
  • Tethered cord syndrome
  1. 2017
    BASIC SCIENCE MASTERSClinical and Translational Science, Programs, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. 2008
    Fellow - Pediatric NeurosurgeryPrimary Children's Medical Center, University of Utah
  3. 2007
    ResidentNeurologic Surgery Program, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. 2006
    Clinical Research Fellowship - Core Curriculum in Clinical Research CertificateSurgical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
  5. 2001
    InternshipMayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  6. 2000
    MDCarver College of Medicine, University of Iowa
  7. 1996
    BS - Majors: Chemistry and Biology ResearchLoras College


  1. 2012
    Pediatric Neurological SurgeryAmerican Board of Pediatric Neurological surgery
  2. 2011
    Neurological SurgeryAmerican Board of Neurological Surgery


Research activities

See a description of research activities.