Ian Carroll, MD, MS

Headache specialist, Orofacial pain specialist, Pain management specialist

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine (Adult Pain)

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In 2015 Dr. Carroll collaborated With Stanford's Neuroradiology and Neurology Headache divisions to create the Stanford CSF Leak Headache Program after his daughter suffered through an initially-undiagnosed CSF leak. This experience left him with a passion for helping patients experiencing CSF leaks around the world. He is board-certified in four different specialties: Headache Medicine by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties; Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine; Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesiology; and Anesthesiology by the American Board of Anesthesiology. His primary focus is on spinal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. He has spoken at numerous national meetings on CSF leaks, management of the pain from nerve injuries, and factors influencing opioid cessation. He has conducted visiting professorships at Johns Hopkins University, Vanderbilt University, Yale University, University of California at Davis Medical Center, and others.

Dr. Carroll graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University, and then graduated with an M.D. from Columbia University. He was a Research Fellow at the Experimental Immunology Branch at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda Maryland. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine, residency in Anesthesiology, fellowship in Pain Medicine, and was elected Chief Resident of Anesthesiology from 2001-2002 at Stanford University Medical Center. He joined Stanford's Department of Anesthesiology as a primary teaching and research faculty in the Pain Management clinic in 2004.

Dr. Carroll completed Stanford's two-year Clinical Research training program earning a M.S. degree in clinical epidemiology from Stanford in 2006. He has published over 50 original articles including research funded by the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER); the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA); and the Stanford Institute for Neuro-Innovation & Translational Neurosciences (SINTN).

In addition to his clinical and research responsibilities, Dr. Carroll helps select and train Stanford Anesthesia residents, Pain Management Fellows and Neurology Headache Fellows.

Professional Summary

Professional Education
  • Fellowship: Stanford University School of Medicine (2004) CA
  • Residency: Stanford University School of Medicine (2002) CA
  • Board Certification: United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties, Headache Medicine (2016)
  • Board Certification, United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS), Headache Medicine (2016)
  • Board Certification, American Board of Addiction Medicine, Addiction Medicine (2009)
  • M.S., Stanford University, Clinical Epidemiology (2006)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine (2004)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Anesthesiology, Anesthesia (2003)
  • Internship: Stanford School of Medicine (1999) CA
  • M.D., Columbia University; College of Physicians and Surgions (1998)

Honors & Awards
  • Award for Teaching Excellence, Stanford Department of Anesthesiology (2004-2005)
  • Best Anesthesia-Resident Teacher Award, Stanford Department of Anesthesiology (2000)
  • Best Anesthesia-Resident Teacher Award, Stanford Department of Anesthesiology (2001)
  • Chief Resident, Stanford Department of Anesthesiology (2001-2002)
  • Edwin Robbins Scholarship for Public Service, Columbia University (1991)
  • Intramural Research Training Award Fellowship-Pre-doctoral, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (1996-1997)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Columbia University (1993)
  • Stanford Department of Anesthesiology Departmental Research Award, Stanford Department of Anesthesiology (2008)
  • Summa Cum Laude, Columbia University (1993)


Clinical Trials

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Specializing In

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak

Practice Locations

Pain Management Center ,


Patient Ratings

(5 Ratings)

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Patient Reviews

(135 reviews)

As always, pleasure to deal with.
Outstanding doctor!
Can’t thank Dr. Carrol enough for the care he has provided!
Utmost professional dedicated to patient/medical excellence. Very grateful for him, his work and Stanford!
Dr Carroll is an excellent surgeon
Dr. Carroll is thorough, attentive, and highly skilled. He is performing life-saving work by diagnosing and treating spinal CSF leaks. Dr. Carroll is one of only a few practitioners who understand the complexity of this condition and the devastating symptoms it causes. He is willing to tackle complex cases and support patients until they are cured. Stanford must continue to support this important work and provide Dr. Carroll with the resources necessary to not only sustain but expand the Stanford CSF Leak Program.
My video visit with Dr. Carroll was excellent. I did have a list of questions for him. He answered all my questions. More importantly, I now know what my medical problem is and how it happened. I so appreciate his patience with me & how very kind he was. I need another blood patch & hope it can get scheduled soon. Dr. Carroll is the best!
Dr Carroll is great. I feel he is working to help me in the best way for my individual needs. He doesn’t forget to include me in all the information about my diagnosis and options for treatment that I have both in the immediate future at my next appointment and the options that I will have going forward after that. I feel that I am in good hands and that he cares about my specific medical and psychological needs. Having solid mental health footing is key in successful recovery from the treatment procedure. He has my whole health in mind, not only his area of expertise.
He is one of the best doctors I have ever had. I appreciate his expertise and knowledge. So grateful.
I am so thankful that he is willing to take the time to further explore my medical situation to find a cause, and hopefully a cure for the headaches I have been suffering from for the last 7 years
Dr. Carroll was very caring, a good listener and completely understood my problem. I never felt rushed and was given hope. I highly recommend Dr. Carroll!
Dr. Carroll is brilliant and compassionate. If all MDs could be like him!!
Dr Carroll is one of the best! His compassion and honest are matched by none. So lucky to have him on by my team.
Dr Carroll is the best doctor I have ever known. And I’ve seen a lot. I would strongly encourage Stanford to invest as many resources as possible into supporting the work Dr Carroll is doing — and hoping to do in the future. What he’s accomplished is truly remarkable and I feel the limiting factor is probably bottlenecked with resources he has available. I also am part of a large private support group for the condition I have. I have literally never heard someone make a complaint or have a bad experience with Dr Carroll. No other doctor is consistently given that high praise. He’s that good.
Great doctor. You are lucky to have him.
He is a delight, give him all the monies. I appreciate his thoroughness and his care of care, and am grateful he took me on as a patient.
Dr Carroll is the most caring & compassionate Dr. He goes above & beyond to help his patients out.
Extremely professional and amazing doctor. His knowledge was comforting.
Dr. Carroll is wonderful and dedicated. He was very sympathetic. I was quite emotional and he was very sympathetic and kind. I've worked a lot with him. He's my fav. doctor.
Dr. Carroll rocks! I wouldn't want anyone else in the entire world doing my epidural patches. He should be cloned!
Dr. Carroll showed concern for ALL aspects of my health! Came up w/a plan and we began same day! Asked if we had questions OR concerns - Excellent doctor!
Dr. Carroll spent a good degree of time & set a plan in place for a full evaluation.
Dr. Carroll was great, listened to me, was very informative, didn't rush, and I was very happy with the visit.
Out of all of the doctors I see at Stanford Dr. Ian Carroll and Dr. Friday are the best and the only ones that make sure I am taken care of. Dr. Carroll is wonderful and caring.
I have NEVER received such wonderful care as I received with Dr. Carroll. He was extremely compassionate & empathetic to the health challenges I have endured. He took time to help me understand my imaging & what was causing my situation & the plan of care.
Like said before, Dr. Carroll and staff are legitimately the best.
I was told that he wasn't giving up on me and my difficult condition, which has renewed and helped support me immeasurably.
Dr. Carroll is amazing!! He is a caring person & I feel he is the only doctor who has listened & cared enough to do something. I can't say enough good things about him!!
Dr. Carroll is always so wonderful, kind, efficient and so caring.
There is not a more compassionate, understanding, caring dr. than Dr. Carroll he's the best!!
My wish is that there were many more doctors just like Ian Carroll. He's smart, compassionate, hangs in with you when things are rough, has incredible techniques, skill, insight and bedside manner. Yes, he really is that amazing.
Surprised, impressed & grateful for amount of time allotted for consult.
Ian Carroll is the best. It's not wise to bet against this doctor. His insight, compassion, understanding and technical expertise are top-notch. The best. I trust him fully.
Dr. Carroll is very caring, personable, and informative!
Still my fave doctor. It's not always easy, but we both keeping doing the best we can. He won't give up on complicated cases if you if you don't give up either.
Everyone is very nice and helpful. The only little thing is my health messages take 2-3 week for a reply.
Dr. Ian Carroll is the best. He listens he cares and knows what he is talking about.
Dr. Carroll is an outgoing individual and very confident in his discipline. He also has very helpful re: my current medications and a referral for future treatment options.
Dr. Carroll is outstanding. It takes time to explain everything I go over radiology images.
Not enough positive to say about Dr. Carroll. Awesome provider! Really listens to history, current symptoms and includes you in game plan for future care. You feel like you matter!
Dr. Carroll is an amazing doctor. He seems to really care about me as a patient and went above and beyond my expectations throughout the entire process.
Dr. Carroll found my spinal fluid leak and fixed it. He is brilliant. I have complete faith & trust.
I really appreciated Dr. Carroll and how he took the time to answer all of my questions so that I understood. He is really an awesome provider who cares about his patients.
Dr. Carroll is the most knowledgeable and helpful Stanford doctor from my experience over 5 years.
Dr. Carroll is the best! He diagnosed my CSF leak, and has been working on treatments to try to fix it. He truly cares for his patients!
He treats you with respect, engages you as a fine partner in your care and is compassionate & willing to help face tough decisions when you're a tough case. Splendid.
#1. The best!
Please give Dr. Carroll whatever resources he needs to be able to treat & follow-up with his patients. I am very fortunate to have found him & be in his care. There are many more that need him too!
R. Carroll is an outstanding care giver showing great concern for my well being and he success of the treatment. He truly goes above and beyond.
Dr. Carroll is an excellent doctor. CSF leaks are rare and difficult and need more doctors like him, more recognition and more education among care providers.
Dr. Carroll is top notch.
Dr. Carroll is the best doctor I've ever met.
Dr. Carroll cares and invest a lot of time in describing and helping me, with my condition.
Dr. Carroll is a compassionate, intelligent and thoughtful doctor.
I feel totally under good care now & that I will be okay!
Dr. Carroll is a fantastic doctor. He is very well respected in the CSF leak population. I have spoke with many people about his skill/bedside manner.
Dr. Carroll is the best!!!
I wish every physician could be like Dr. Carroll. He is the kindest, smartest provider I have ever encountered. He is the crown jewel of Stanford. Please give him every resource he needs to make his job easier to be able to treat more patients.
Dr. Carroll is a caring and supportive person. He is a good listener and he provides up to date information.
Dr. Carroll has made the most positive and beneficial contribution to my health & well being of any doctor I've ever had over decades of receiving Medicaid care. He is a true gem and I'm so grateful for doctors like him.
Dr. Carroll is an extraordinary doctor and a caring and warm person.
the only reason I go to this clinic is because of this doctor.
I love this doctor. I just wish I didn't have so much trouble with your staff getting my prescriptions refilled. I will discuss that problem later. But my doctor is wonderful.
Dr. Ian Carroll is very professional w/an exceptional bedside manner. He is very thorough & caring. Absolutely an amazing, compassionate dr.
Dr Carroll is a vey compassionate physician He listen to all your complaints and is always trying to figure things out to take care of your pain
Dr. Caroll is on of the best doctors I have ever worked with. Only problem is that it is so difficult to get an appt. with him!
Dr. answered my questions.
Dr Carroll inspires confidence. He is friendly, informative and thoughtful. He is an excellent diagnostician
Dr. Carroll is an excellent physician!
A great professional.
Dr. Carroll is very patient and kind and is a good listener. I have confidence in his ability to treat my condition, and know he will address any concerns I have without me feeling silly for asking.
Spent time going through my test results - very helpful.
Dr. Carroll is always courteous and caring, he takes as much time with you as you require and always does his best to reassure you when you are worried.
I cannot express my thanks and give enough accolades to Dr. Carroll. I have finally found a doctor to manage my pain condition CRPS. He asked my husband questions about observation my husband has made. Dr. Carroll informed me of treatment options never before offered and answered my questions in a way such that I knew he had the expertise to treat my condition and I was no longer alone.
Dr. Carroll was very kind explaining everything very courteous.
Dr. Carroll was clear and helped me to understand a very complex process. Also, he has an inspiring presence.
Dr. Carroll has been the most informative, caring, responsible doctor I have experienced at Stanford Hospital throughout six (6) years being a patient!
Dr. Casroll is an extraordinary doctor and a caring person.
Dr. Carroll has a good bedside-manner and is patient and listens. He doesn't talk down to patients, fantastic doctor.
Dr. Carrol is always informacive and takes the time necessary to... that I have. He is kind and caring and always very well improved.
Dr. Carroll was extremely thorough and helpful.
My wife works for Stanford hospital so this is tough. Dr. Nwanshinadu is typically great but hasn't responded to me in weeks. Both Dr. Carroll & Dr. N did not communicate before my last visit & we accomplished nothing. Dr. Carroll's lack of compassion & empathy blows me away. I'm suffering & can't sleep and he did nothing.
Dr. Ian Carroll is great. Truly one of the bests caring and considerate physicians.
A physician with Dr. Carroll's knowledge along with terrific "people skills' an sincerity is rare thing these days. Great job, Dr. Carroll, your mom must be proud!
Dr. Carroll really helped me with nerve pain in left foot. Allows me to have normal life. He is caring, compassionate and a super listener.
Dr. Carroll is so intelligent & caring. He helped me heal my neck pain of 29 years in 2 yrs. A true miracle. He is attentive. He thinks outside the box & he cares!
Dr. Carroll is the best doctor I have ever had. His commitment to his patients and his energy and brilliance to provide excellent care is unmatched. He is doing amazing work. He draws every support possible.
Dr. Carroll is an extraordinary doctor. He thinks outside the "box", always shows concern and he is friendly and caring.
I was VERY favorably impressed one of the best dr's I have spoken to. Great experience.
Dr. Carroll explains his approach and is a great listener. He also cares and gives you time necessary. Greatest confidence in him.
Dr. Carroll is a fantastic, smart doctor who really cares about making me get better. I fully trust him & feel fortunate to have such a smart & caring doctor.
Dr. Carroll is the best doctor I've ever had - and I've had quite a few! He is brilliant, compassionate, works his tail off trying to help his patients and tells you exactly what he knows & doesn't. He deserves every support for everyone's continual success.
The main provider was Dr. Ian Carroll. He is always very informative and listens to my questions. He is the best.
Dr. Caroll is a wonderful doctor.
Great docs.
Dr. Carroll always listens to your concerns, is very caring and spends all the time necessary with you.
I am very confident and happy.
Dr. Carroll is a great doctor! Could give classes on doctor/patient relations.
Dr. Carroll gets 5 + in every category. He shows great empathy, patience and confidence. I'd happily recommend him - No reservations!!!
Dr. Carroll is the best doctor I have ever been to. I can't thank him enough for discharging me & for the treatments & medication he prescribed. I feel like a new person. He's my hero!
I feel& trust him more with each visit. I also feel he trusts me more.
I was impressed with Dr. Carroll, came highly recommended.
Dr. Carroll is a wonderful doctor who cares, explains & talks about your life not just health.
Excellent care provider.
Very hard to get to his nurse or office. Don't return calls or emails for 5 days after repeated calling.
Dr. Carroll has been more attentive to my total care than any other doctor. I have ever seen. He looks at the whole person.
I highly recommend Dr. Carroll - by controlling my pain, he changed my life. He is brilliant but also kind & caring.
Dr. Carroll is very kind & thoughtful.
Dr. Carroll is a wonderful doctor -
Dr Carroll was excellent and recommended him as a pain management expert to my orthopedic surgeon and other CRPS patient.
Very patient and very compassionate in regards to my concerns & pain.
Dr. Carroll attentive/focused/compassionate/confident. Great bedside manner. Doesn't rush/listens great.
He's just great!
He looked at my whole medical history to see if there are connections to my nerve damage & pain issues.
Dr. Carroll is the best doctor I have ever had the privilege to meet I'm very lucky.
Amazing care provider.
Dr. Carroll couldn't have been nicer. He explained the implants & why it's my last option!
I have seen Dr. Carroll for the first time and only once so it is difficult to judge about confidence etc.
Dr. Carroll's demeanor/attitude/follow thru & caring instills confidence in me and he delivers amazing results.
Dr. Carroll is knowledgeable, thorough, compassionate and he is an extraordinary care giver.
Dr. Carroll spent a lot of time with me to get to the cause of my back pain.
Dr. Carroll is the best! Very knowledgeable, considerate and understanding.
Dr. Carroll is thoughtful, considerate and generally amazing. I drive 3-4 hrs. to see him.
Excellent care dedicated workers.
Dr. Carroll is the best in all ways of any doctor I have ever had I feel it is a honor to have him as my doctor!
Dr. Carroll diagnosed my problem within 15 min. Very kind, educated. Excellent diagnostician - the very best!!!
Excellent care!
Excellent doctor - he helped get my pain in face over 5 yrs. ago; got rid of my daughters migraines and is now treating my son's pain.
Absolutely great.
I have seen several providers for my pain Dr. Carroll is by far the best. From now on I will only schedule with him.
Dr. was the best in all of the above questions that I have ever experienced and I am 68 yrs. old.
Dr. Carroll shows great concern for my well-being & responds to my concerns. He is working w/me to find new treatment options.
Was hoping that Dr. Carroll would be more involved. Connected very well with him. Dr. Carroll connects very well with patients.

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