After LASIK, patient can see clearly without her lenses

Janelle Peterson had to wear glasses every day for decades

A Sanford Health patient and her husband pose with face masks while touring a cave after LASIK eye surgery.

The decision to get LASIK vision corrective surgery has never been clearer.

Sanford Health now offers the procedure for a flat fee of $3,500 for both eyes. This competitive package price includes preoperative care, the procedures and a year of postoperative visits and support.

For those on the fence about LASIK, Janelle Peterson has one simple message: It’s worth it.

Dependent on her frames

Ever since Peterson was in seventh grade, she’s never been able to stray far from her glasses. Without them, everything at a distance would scramble into a blur.

“I always had to wear glasses or prescription sunglasses,” Peterson said. “I wasn’t able to not have glasses on.”

Her glasses would give her headaches as well as be a headache for her in general. She had to be aware of where her glasses were at all times. Did she remember both her glasses and prescription sunglasses on her motorcycle ride? Where’d she put them after falling asleep? Even when messing around with her nephews, she always had to make sure the roughhousing didn’t threaten her fragile frames.

These little annoyances added up. So for the past few years, Peterson has been contemplating LASIK. Last January, she finally made it happen.

What is LASIK?

LASIK surgery helps correct the vision of people who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. For these individuals, light doesn’t focus on the right spot on the back of the eye. But fortunately, the cornea, which is the part of the eye that focuses light, can be reshaped with a laser to bend the light where it’s supposed to go.

Andrew Ollerton, M.D., a laser eye surgeon at Sanford Health, describes the ideal LASIK patient as someone very similar to Peterson.

“The ideal patient is someone who is motivated to be independent of their glasses or contact lenses,” he said. “Most patients who are good candidates are also very active. They don’t want to have to wear glasses while they’re pursuing an active lifestyle.”

Dr. Ollerton and his team worked with Peterson to help her get clearer vision.

Patient-centered eye surgery

Dr. Ollerton prides himself and his team on being with patients at every step throughout the LASIK surgery process.

“We don’t see you once and send you out. We offer a package deal that includes preoperative, surgical and postoperative care,” he said. “That means we can offer better patient care. In other places, you may not meet your surgeon until the day of your surgery and then you’ll never see them after.”

Peterson loved how thorough Dr. Ollerton and his team were during her preoperative care. They checked all areas of her eye health and were always available to answer questions.

Before surgery, the team walked her through what to expect so she felt prepared and wasn’t too nervous. For her, it was an easy and painless process.

“All I had to do was lie there,” she said.

Life without glasses

For the first time since middle school, Peterson is free to go out without her glasses. At her eye appointments, she can now read the smallest line of letters.

“I am truly amazed by how great my vision is now,” she said. “I was in a meeting at work and pointed out that someone had read off a slide wrong. I’d never been able to do that before. I couldn’t see at a distance that clearly, even with glasses.”

Peterson would recommend LASIK to anybody — including her husband. He’s planning on getting the procedure next year.

Call (605) 328-9200 to schedule your free consultation.

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