Wolfgang B. Gaertner, MD, MSc

Division Chief, Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery

Wolfgang B. Gaertner

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-625-7992

Fax 612-625-4406

Office Address:
Colon and Rectal Surgery
420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 450
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Alexandra Broek

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Additional Locations

Colon & Rectal Clinic:


Endoscopy Scheduling:


Administrative Phone:


Administrative Fax:


Division Chief, Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery

Professor, Department of Surgery

Colon and Rectal Surgeon

MD, Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico

Residency, University of Minnesota (General Surgery)

Fellowship, University of Minnesota (Colon and Rectal Surgery)

MSc, Instituto Alfonso Reyes, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

My goal is to provide individualized, world-class, cutting-edge care to patients with diseases of the colon and rectum.


Dr. Gaertner is originally from Vancouver, Canada, but spent most of his childhood and early life in Mexico. After receiving his medical degree from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara in Mexico, he completed a research fellowship, general surgery residency and colon and rectal surgery fellowship at the University of Minnesota. He is actively involved in both basic science and clinical research of diseases of the colon and rectum, and has published numerous articles and book chapters in his field. Dr. Gaertner is certified by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) and the American Board of Colon & Rectal Surgery (ABCRS); and his clinical expertise includes colorectal oncology, inflammatory bowel disease, and minimally invasive approaches to colorectal diseases.


  • Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer

Awards & Recognition

  • Mpls.St.Paul Magazine "Top Doctor—Rising Star" (2015)

Professional Associations

  • Member, American Medical Association (2007-present)
  • Member, Academy of Surgical Research (2006-present)
  • Member, American College of Surgeons (2006-present)
  • Member, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (2006-present)
  • Editorial Board Member, World Journal of Gastroenterology


  • English
  • Spanish


Research Summary/Interests

  • Minimally invasive surgery for colorectal diseases (laparoscopy and robotic surgery)
  • Colorectal Oncology
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • Transanal endoscopic microsurgery
  • Sphincter preserving operations for rectal cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Clostridium difficile infection after colorectal surgery
  • Postoperative abdominal adhesions
  • Parastomal hernia repair


  • Ileal pouch fistulas after restorative proctocolectomy: management and outcomes. Gaertner WB, Witt J, Madoff RD, Mellgren A, Finne CO, Spencer MP. Techniques in Coloproctology 2014.
  • Multidisciplinary and Evidence-based Management of Fistulizing Perianal Crohn’s Disease. Sordo-Mejia R, Gaertner WB. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology 2014 Aug 15;5(3):239-51.
  • The Evolving Role of Laparoscopy in Colonic Diverticular Disease. Gaertner WB, Kwaan MR, Madoff RD, Rothenberger DA, Belzer GE, Melton GB. World Journal of Surgery 2013 Mar;37(3):629-38.
  • Results of combined medical and surgical treatment of rectovaginal fistulas in Crohn’s disease. Gaertner WB, Madoff RD, Mellgren A, Spencer MP, Goldberg SM, Lowry AC. Colorectal Disease 2011 Jun;13(6):678-83.
  • Fistula-associated anal adenocarcinoma in Crohn's disease. Iesalnieks I, Gaertner WB, Glaß H, Strauch U, Hipp M, Agha A, Schlitt HJ. Inflammatory Bowel Disease 2010 Oct;16(10):1643-8.


Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery
  • American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery

Clinical Interests

Colon and rectal cancer; Diverticulitis; Inflammatory bowel disease; Anorectal diseases; Pelvic floor dysfunction; Laparoscopic and robotic surgery