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John Stuart Nelson, MD


General Surgery

Clinical Interests

acne and acne scars, hemangiomas, hypertrophic scars, laser surgery, nevus of Ota, port-wine stains, tattoos, vascular birthmarks

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  • Board Certification Waiver,
  • English
Medical School
USC School of Medicine
UCI School of MedicineSurgery
UCI School of MedicineSurgery
Grad School
UC Irvine — PhD, Biological Sciences
Professional Positions
  • Distinguished Professor — Department of Surgery, UCI School of Medicine
  • Professor — Department of Biomedical Engineering, UCI Samueli School of Engineering
  • Medical Director — Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic
  • Director — Vascular Birthmarks and Malformations Diagnostic and Treatment Center
Awards and Recognition
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004 — DakDak Photoaging Technologies Photobiology Working Group
  • Physician of the Year Award, 2005 — Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
More Information

Dr. J. Stuart Nelson is a UCI Health surgeon who specializes in port-wine stains, hemangiomas and other vascular malformations. Medical director of the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, he has more than two decades of experience in the diagnosis, clinical management and treatment of these vascular malformations in infants, children and adults. 

Nelson earned his medical degree at the University of Southern California, followed by an internship and residency in general surgery at the UCI School Medicine. He also earned a PhD in biological sciences, with an emphasis on developmental and cell biology, from UC Irvine.

Nelson, a distinguished professor in the Department of Surgery, developed the "Dynamic Cooling Device," which, in conjunction with pulsed dye laser technology, has become the standard of care to treat port-wine stain birthmarks, hemangiomas, other vascular malformations and a number of previously untreatable cutaneous diseases. The cooling technique also has been incorporated into laser surgical treatments for hypertrichosis, rosacea and scarring from acne, traumatic injury and surgical procedures. It has also been adapted for photorejuvenation procedures.

His research combines his expertise in engineering, optics, medicine and surgery. He has published more than 360 scientific articles and 16 book chapters and is a past president of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS). An internationally recognized expert in port-wine stains, hemangiomas and other vascular malformations, he is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world.  

Nelson, who directs the Vascular Birthmarks & Malformations Diagnostic and Treatment Center, sees patients in Irvine.

Academic Profile

View this physician's faculty profile ›

Speakers Bureau Topics

  • Hemangiomas and laser treatment
  • Laser dermatology surgery
  • Lasers
  • Laser biomedical applications
  • Pediatric laser surgery
  • Port-wine stains and laser treatment

UCI Health Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic
1002 Health Sciences Road
Irvine, CA 92612
Phone: 949-824-7997
Fax: 949-824-2726