Patient Rating:

4.7 out of 5

87 Patient Ratings
49 Patient Comments

Edward W. Nelson, M.D.

Clinical Vice-Chair, Department of Surgery

Chief, Division of General Surgery

Clinical Details


Schedule An Appointment Clinical Office Address
(801) 587-4241 Huntsman Cancer Institute
Patient Care Center
2000 Circle of Hope
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 581-2634 University Hospital
Transplant Center
50 N Medical Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
(801) 581-7738 University Hospital
General Surgery, Clinic 5
50 N Medical Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84132


Edward W. Nelson is the Chief of the General Surgery Division and Professor in the Department of Surgery. For over 30 years, Dr. Nelson has been at the forefront of the kidney transplantation program at the University of Utah. Performing both adult and pediatric kidney transplantation, as well as laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, Dr. Nelson has long been involved in the ethics, protection, and advancement of organ donation for the state of Utah.

Another focus of Dr. Nelson’s practice is the surgical treatment of breast cancer. An early proponent of the sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure for breast cancer, Dr. Nelson was the University of Utah principal investigator in two national trials, the NSABP B-32 and the ACOSOG Z0010 and Z0011 studies. Dr. Nelson was instrumental in creating the multi-disciplinary Comprehensive Breast Care Center and along with his colleagues in oncology, radiology, and pathology, Dr. Nelson continues to promote the team approach to the care and research of breast cancer.

As a general surgeon, Dr. Nelson is also highly proficient with open and laparoscopic surgery approaches in the diagnosis and repair of hernias, diseases of the parathyroid, and those illnesses in which a splenectomy is required.

Board Certification and Academic Information

Academic Departments Surgery - Professor
Academic Divisions General Surgery
Board Certification American Board of Surgery (General Surgery)
National Board of Medical Examiners

Patient Ratings

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

Likelihood of recommending doctor
My confidence in doctor
Time doctor spent with me
Doctor spoke using clear language
Doctor's effort to include me in decisions
Doctor's concern for questions & worries
Doctor's explanation of condition/problem
Wait time at clinic
Doctor's friendliness and courtesy

Patient Comments

Patient comments are gathered from our Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

March 23, 2014

We really liked Dr. Nelson's style and care - except that he hadn't looked at my mammogram before coming in to see us. He had to interrupt the visit and train of thought to go take a look at the studies. This made my husband feel less-than-confident. We did appreciate the way the options were explained - except for the fact side effects of radiation were not well-explained. (On further research and talking to other healthcare providers - there's more than what was intimated at the visit.)

March 19, 2014

I've been dealing with 3 different physicians; Dr. E. Nelson, Dr. H. Khong, Dr. M. Poppe. Both my wife and I couldn't be more please. They've all demonstrated an unexpected but welcomed opportunity to spend ample time with us, answering patiently all of our questions and concerns. They never seem to rush us in any way whatsoever - what a difference it makes and one, right now, both my wife and I desperately need.

March 16, 2014

no final medication, treatment or follow up were discussed, still need to do more tests

March 13, 2014

Dr. Nelson was very professional, friendly, did not act hurried, answered all our questions, & took the time to review my records in the room.

March 01, 2014

It's very rare that I wait more than 5 to 10 minutes. This gives me time for coffee and cocoa. I love the drinks you provide and I loved the chap stick, lotion, hand sanitizer samples that were available, any chance you'll do it again?

February 24, 2014

Both I, and my wife, dealt directly with Drs. Nelson and Morgan, as well as "Kim" the clinical nurse of Dr. Nelson and Joanna, the P.A. in radiology. We were very pleased with all of them. We had great interaction with them. They explained thoroughly what was going to happen, answering all of our questions and concerns and showed no signs, whatsoever, of being in a hurry.

January 25, 2014

Dr. Nelson is wonderful.

January 18, 2014

Both Dr.s were great!

January 13, 2014

Dr. Nelson is a wonderful doctor. I would recommend him to anyone.

January 11, 2014

Physician had already decided that he was not going to do the surgery I and my gastroenterologist felt that I needed. It did not matter was my concerns were, he decided he was right. I was much more concerned with being right, rather than correct. He has no ability to think outside the box. I am alive today because I had a physician that looked way outside the box and discovered what was wrong with me. I have no doubt about Dr. Nelson as a surgeon, but he needs to leave the diagnosing to the referring physician.

January 05, 2014

Dr. Nelson is kind, considerate and extremely knowledgable. he is a surgeon w it all-- skill & compassion!

December 16, 2013

I did my research before I came down, this is the best transplant center in every way

November 18, 2013

He did not seem familiar with my case when I met with him. I wish he had reviewed my pathology and films before he came in to see me. I also wish he had reviewed the previous pathology to compare the two before making an assessment.

November 11, 2013

I was treated like an individual rather than a statistic....I highly recommend this facility and all the care givers to everyone

October 21, 2013

dr. nelson referred to me with a condescending "name" and made it clear that he did not wish to do the surgery. he did not speak with me the day of surgery ~ he did not speak with me after the surgery ~ and he did not schedule any follow-up.

October 21, 2013

Dr. Nelson was humorous and I appreciated a little humor with this visit.

October 14, 2013

As a surgeon he is exceptional; however I feel he should not second guess the doctor that was doing the diagnosing.

September 23, 2013

Doctor was very concerned.

August 27, 2013

Received information I was not getting from others.

August 26, 2013

Dr. Nelson was great! He made me feel like a person and not like another patient to "cut-open". He was very easy to talk to, answered all my questions, and gave me treatment options. The PA didn't start off well because she thought I was coming in for a completely different issue (hernia vs gallstones). She was knowledgable but not as open and easy to talk to.

August 13, 2013

very good

August 03, 2013

ALL staff was great!!!! I have not had a better experience than I did at the U of U with Dr. Nelson and his staff.

July 22, 2013

Doctor ended the appointment abruptly to take a phone call.

July 14, 2013


July 08, 2013

very informative about my condition

June 10, 2013

great interaction with medical staff with this being our second opinion we have decided to switch dr and go to huntsman instead of imc

April 22, 2013

Dr. Nelson, as a personal friend, always is excellent.

February 25, 2013

Very appreciative of Dr. Nelson and his attention and service. Thank you so much!!!

February 18, 2013

Dr. Nelson is outstanding because he communicates with the patient, eye-to-eye, frankly, and clearly, and with a friendly, caring demeanor. What a pleasure to have him care for me.

January 21, 2013

Very impressed with everyone.

December 25, 2012

Dr. Edward Nelson is a excellent doctor. He takes his time and cares so much about his patients. I am the luckiest patient to have him as my doctor. I would recommend him to anyone. He is AWESOME!

December 18, 2012

went to fast didnt give to time to gather thougths after exam so I could ask questions, felt a little rushed.

November 20, 2012

Dr. Nelson and his assistant were both wonderful.

November 12, 2012

Dr. Nelson is hands-down the finest breast cancer surgeon in the west, and a wonderful, caring, smart and thoughtful doctor. I am sure his expertise and thoroughness saved my life. I feel so blessed to have such excellent care. Not only is Dr. Nelson up-to-date on the latest care standards and surgical options, but he presents information warmly and kindly. He deserves the highest praise.

November 12, 2012

Dr Nelson is very good at explaining things in lay man's terms, as well as giving analogies that make things easier to understand

October 22, 2012

It was very easy to understand what they were explaining.

August 20, 2012

Dr. Nelson was wonderful!

July 16, 2012

We saw a team of extraordinarily well trained medical staff. Not just their medical training, experience, and knowledge, but in their desire and efforts to help confused and worried cancer patients feel they were in good hands and receiving the best trea

June 11, 2012

The physician I saw was knowledgeable and experienced and related information concerning my problem very well.

April 20, 2012

Good when I talked with him, but he hadn't reviewed my chart beforehand which might have helped him look up info on my rare type of cancer.

April 20, 2012

Ed Nelson's calm and confidence--together with his ironic sense of humor--have made a great difference to me in dealing with breast cancer.

April 06, 2012

It is obvious to me this provider is experienced in this field and was good about explaining my situation. I did feel it was a little more business-like than I would have wanted. Breast cancer is not only difficult to deal with physically, but it is also emotional. I didn't feel my emotional concerns about the proposed treatment were addressed as well by this provider.

April 06, 2012

spent the time necessary, gave good advice

March 09, 2012

I had the impression Dr. Nelson was not sure if I had felt a lump. The ultra-sound confirmed I not only had one but three. Makes me wonder if I feel another one.

January 27, 2012

the 3 ring binder was full of good information also

January 20, 2012

It was an overwhelming day and everything was a shock but with caring people it made my day better.

January 19, 2012

Dr. Nelson-fine man.

January 13, 2012

Based on my initial visit with Dr. Nelson, I believe him to be very clear in his explanation and using words I understand. Also, he made it clear that I have choices and I feel my input will be heard, and questions and concerns addressed.

January 03, 2012

I am so frustrated with Dr. Nelson. He could not diagnose my problem and I asked to be referred to an another specialist and he declined to help me.

Academic Profile

Research Interests

  • Renal Transplantation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Splenectomy
  • Breast Cancer - Diagnostic Techniques
  • Breast Cancer - Sentinel Node Procedure
  • Parathyroidectomy

Board Certification and Academic Information

Academic Departments Surgery - Professor
Academic Divisions General Surgery
Board Certification American Board of Surgery (General Surgery)
National Board of Medical Examiners

Academic Office Locations

Academic Office Phone Number Academic Office Address
(801) 581-7738 School of Medicine
General Surgery
30 N Medical Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Academic Bio

Edward W. Nelson is the Chief of the General Surgery Division and Professor in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Nelson completed a fellowship for renal transplantation and has been an integral member of the program at the University of Utah. Performing both adult and pediatric kidney transplantation, as well as laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, Dr. Nelson has served on local and national transplantation committees with an emphasis in ethics and organ procurement.

Another major focus of Dr. Nelson’s practice is the treatment of breast cancer. An early proponent of the sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure, Dr. Nelson was the University of Utah principal investigator in two national trials, the NSABP B-32 and the ACOSOG Z0010 and Z0011 studies. He is the local investigator for the Z1071, which is a Phase II study of sentinel lymph node dissection in women receiving chemotherapy. Dr. Nelson also collaborates with University colleagues in radiology and pathology on various breast cancer studies.

Dr. Nelson is a member of local and national surgical organizations, and was elected president of the Southwestern Surgical Congress in 2010-11. Since 2005, he has been a member of the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors.

Dr. Nelson is also highly proficient with open and laparoscopic surgical approaches, especially relative to splenectomy. He has published numerous papers on the ability to perform a laparoscopic splenectomy in cases of massive splenomegaly.

Dr. Nelson’s commitment to medical education includes collaboration with general surgery residents in the publication of USMLE Surgery texts. He has also received numerous teaching awards from surgical residents and medical students, and was recently awarded the 2011 Clark Lowe Rich Distinguished Surgeon Award.


Education History

Type School Degree
Fellowship University of Utah School of Medicine
Transplantation Surgery
Residency University of Utah School of Medicine
General Surgery
Internship L.A. County Harbor
Professional Medical University of Utah Hospital School of Medicine
Undergraduate Arizona State University


Selected Provider Publications

Journal Article

  1. Nelson EW, Mone MC, Nelson ET, Hansen HJ, Gawlick U, Alder (2013)Evolution of trends in the live kidney transplant donor-recipient relationship.  Transplantation Proceedings, 45(1),57-64
  2. Nelson ET, Gross ME, Mone MC, Hansen HJ, Nelson EW, Scaife C(2013)A survey of American College of Surgery fellows evaluating their use of antibiotic prophylaxis in the placement of subcutaneously implanted central venous access ports.LID - S0002-9610(13)00433-9 [pii]LID - 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2013.07.019 [doi]  The American Journal of Surgery,
  3. DeRose YS, Wang G, Lin YC, Bernard PS, Buys SS, Ebbert MT, Factor R, Matsen C, Milash BA, Nelson E, Neumayer L, Randall RL, Stijleman IJ, Welm BE, Welm A(2011)Tumor grafts derived from women with breast cancer authentically reflect tumor pathology, growth, metastasis and disease outcomes.  Nature Medicine, 17(11),1514-20
  4. Nelson E(2011)What I've learned.  The American Journal of Surgery, 202(6),623-31
  5. Nelson EW, Gross ME, Mone MC, Hansen HJ, Sheng X, Cannon KM, Alder (2011)Does ultrasonic energy for surgical dissection reduce the incidence of renal transplant lymphocele?  Transplantation Proceedings, 43(10),3755-9
  6. Agarwal S, Nelson EW, Agarwal J(2011)Local recurrence of breast cancer 52 years after halsted mastectomy: is there a role for more aggressive ipsilateral surveillance?  Case Reports in Oncological Medicine, 2011107370
  7. Gawlick U, Mone MC, Nelson ET, Hansen HJ, Nelson E(2010)Success in sentinel lymph node procedures in obese patients with breast cancer.  The American Journal of Surgery, 200(6),707-10; discussion 710-1
  8. Scaife CL, Gross ME, Mone MC, Hansen HJ, Litz CL, Nelson ET, Anderson CJ, Wagner G, Gawlick U, Nelson E(2010)Antibiotic prophylaxis in the placement of totally implanted central venous access ports.  The American Journal of Surgery, 200(6),719-22; disussion 722-3
  9. Gawlick U, Mone MC, Hansen HJ, Connors RC, Nelson E(2008)Selective use of intraoperative sentinel lymph node pathological evaluation in breast cancer.  The American Journal of Surgery, 196(6),851-5; discussion 855-6
  10. Buchanan C, Smith L, Corbett J, Nelson E, Shihab (2006)A retrospective analysis of ezetimibe treatment in renal transplant recipients.  American Journal of Transplantation, 6(4),770-4
  11. Perreard L, Fan C, Quackenbush JF, Mullins M, Gauthier NP, Nelson E, Mone M, Hansen H, Buys SS, Rasmussen K, Orrico AR, Dreher D, Walters R, Parker J, Hu Z, He X, Palazzo JP, Olopade OI, Szabo A, Perou CM, Bernard P(2006)Classification and risk stratification of invasive breast carcinomas using a real-time quantitative RT-PCR assay.  Breast Cancer Research, 8(2),R23
  12. Hu Z, Fan C, Oh DS, Marron JS, He X, Qaqish BF, Livasy C, Carey LA, Reynolds E, Dressler L, Nobel A, Parker J, Ewend MG, Sawyer LR, Wu J, Liu Y, Nanda R, Tretiakova M, Ruiz Orrico A, Dreher D, Palazzo JP, Perreard L, Nelson E, Mone M, Hansen H, Mullins M, Quackenbush JF, Ellis MJ, Olopade OI, Bernard PS, Perou C(2006)The molecular portraits of breast tumors are conserved across microarray platforms.  BMC Genomics, 796
  13. Privette A, Fenton SJ, Mone MC, Kennedy AM, Nelson E(2005)Desmoid tumor: a case of mistaken identity.  Breast Journal, The, 11(1),60-4
  14. Nolan KD, Mone MC, Nelson E(2005)Plasma cell neoplasms. Review of disease progression and report of a new variant.  Surgical Oncology, 14(2),85-90
  15. Crompton JA, Somerville T, Smith L, Corbett J, Nelson E, Holman J, Shihab F(2003)Lack of economic benefit with basiliximab induction in living related donor adult renal transplant recipients.  Pharmacotherapy, 23(4),443-50
  16. Bailey SH, Mone MC, Holman JM, Nelson E(2003)Laparoscopic treatment of post renal transplant lymphoceles.  Surgical Endoscopy: surgical and interventional techniques, 17(12),1896-9
  17. Bailey SH, Mone MC, Nelson E(2002)Transplantation of crossed fused ectopic kidneys into a single recipient.  Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 194(2),147-50
  18. Moore M, Burak WE Jr, Nelson EW, Kearney T, Simmons R, Mayers L, Spotnitz W(2001)Fibrin sealant reduces the duration and amount of fluid drainage after axillary dissection: a randomized prospective clinical trial.  Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 192(5),591-9
  19. Nelson EW, Mone M(1999)Splenectomy in high-risk patients with splenomegaly.  The American Journal of Surgery, 178(6),581-6


  1. Nelson, E(2007)Blueprints in Surgery - Steps 2-3 Question Series  ,

Edited Book

  1. Nelson E(2005)Blueprints in Surgery - Steps 2-3 Question Series,  ,

Book Chapter

  1. Nelson E(2009)Prolene Hernia System - Hernia Repair  ,


  1. Gawlick U, Hewitt K, Tamayo P, Mone MC, Hansen H, Nelson E(2011)Predictions for Positive Nodes in Breast Cancer Using Computerized Modeling  ,
  2. Nelson EW, Gawlick U, Mone M, Nelson ET, Hansen H, Alder S(2009)Trends in kidney donor-recipient relationships  ,
  3. Connors R, Fenton S, Mone M, Hansen H, Cannon P, Nelson E(2007)Can we improve prediction for development of post-renal transplant lymphocle?  ,

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

  • Astellas 7163-CL-0108
    Keywords: Immunosuppression, Post renal transplant, CNI avoidance, Solid organ transplant
    Status: Completed Principal Investigator: Fuad Shihab
  • LCP Tacro 3002
    Keywords: Post renal transplant, immunosuppression, nephrology tranplant, transplant
    Status: Completed Principal Investigator: Fuad Shihab
  • Astellas-CMV Vaccine
    Keywords: Cytomegalovirus, CMV, Kidney Transplant , Infectious Disease, Vaccine
    Status: Not yet recruiting Principal Investigator: Fuad Shihab
  • Viropharma- Resistant CMV
    Keywords: CMV, Cytomegalovirus, Resist , Refractory, Infectious disease, Transplantation-Infectious disease
    Status: Completed Principal Investigator: Fuad Shihab

Video & News