An eye for the Sioux Falls community: Bringing LASIK to Sanford Health

April 9, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by Sanford Health.

A little competition helps to improve not only quality but also prices and expectations. Community members in Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas now have the option to get LASIK eye laser surgery at Sanford Health.

Dr. Andrew Ollerton is a laser eye surgeon at Sanford Health who reshapes the eyes of patients through LASIK. The procedure can correct common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Understanding LASIK

In order for a person to see clearly, light coming into the eye has to be focused at a specific place in the back of the eye. Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism result from light being focused at the wrong spot, so the patient experiences blurry images.

Glasses or contact lenses work to correct the bend of light and get it focused at the right place. However, LASIK reshapes the cornea itself so that patients do not need to rely on external hardware to see with clarity.

“LASIK is a laser procedure that changes the shape of the cornea,” Ollerton said. “The cornea is that clear window on the front of the eye where a contact lens is placed. The cornea is really important in focusing light into the back of the eye to create a clear image. Using advanced laser technology to sculpt the cornea allows a patient to have clear vision without the help of glasses or contacts.”


This means patients who previously had to feel around blindly for glasses or a contact case immediately when waking up no longer have to. Patients can live everyday life without worrying about not seeing clearly. Activities like camping or exercising no longer require bringing along glasses or contacts, a case and extra pair of contacts. Patients also avoid the risk of contact-related eye infections.

“A huge benefit of coming to Sanford Health is that you get a team approach to care,” Ollerton said. “We get to know patients before the decision is ever made to have surgery. We know their medical and ocular background, and we take time to learn their vision goals. This helps us tailor treatment for each patient since vision correction surgery is not one size fits all.”

Patients also have their vision surgery information available in their electronic medical record, he said.

“So any time they see a Sanford Health physician, that information is available.”

Additionally, Sanford Health patients follow up with the same surgeon who performed LASIK. In many instances with LASIK, a patient may meet the surgeon only on the day of surgery. But Sanford Health builds a relationship with patients before surgery and follows them closely afterward to ensure results.

Streamlined process

If interested, a patient meets with Ollerton for a complete eye exam, review of medical and ocular history, discussion of vision goals and a variety of eye measurements. This appointment takes about two hours and rules out reasons that would prevent the patient from safely having laser vision correction.

Once the surgery is scheduled, the patient completes LASIK at the Sanford USD Medical Center. The laser that reshapes the cornea is quick, with the entire laser treatment lasting less than 15 seconds. The eye is numbed with topical drops, so there is no pain. Plus, Sanford Health’s team of nurses, front desk staff and more are there to support the patient before, during and after the procedure.

Recovery is very quick. Patients usually go back to work within a day or two. Vision improvements are typically seen within days, and vision can continue to improve over time while the eye recovers.

Advantage of competition

The goal of LASIK is to make a patient’s vision as good as possible. To ensure this, Ollerton follows up with a patient one day, one week and one month after the procedure. At each appointment, he checks vision to determine how well the patient is seeing, if glasses are needed or if the patient requires an additional enhancement laser session.

“Having another option for people in the community is very important to keep prices competitive, keep technology at the forefront and make sure that the standards remain high,” Ollerton said.

“I am very excited to offer LASIK. It is nice to see a simple procedure make such a difference in someone’s life. Having this option at Sanford Health means we don’t have to send patients elsewhere. They can stay right here but still get a price and quality that is the same as somewhere else, if not better.”

Call 605-328-9200 to learn more about LASIK at Sanford Health.

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An eye for the Sioux Falls community: Bringing LASIK to Sanford Health

A little competition helps to improve not only quality but also prices and expectations. Community members in Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas now have the option to get LASIK eye laser surgery at Sanford Health.

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