Dr. John Berdahl – Ophthalmologist Surgeon

Meet Dr. John Berdahl

Practicing in Sioux Falls, SD is our board-certified ophthalmologist, John Berdahl, MD. He is widely regarded as one of the leading international cataract surgeons. He is one of the very few surgeons in the United States who is also fellowship trained in cornea, glaucoma, and refractive surgery. Dr. Berdahl has already performed more than 25,000 eye surgeries around the globe. His published work has primarily focused on the fundamental causes of Glaucoma, Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery, and Astigmatism Management, during and after cataract surgery.

He has been involved in numerous FDA monitored clinical trials on some of the most exciting technologies in ophthalmology. He also founded Equinox, which is developing the first non-surgical, non-pharmacologic way to lower eye pressure for glaucoma treatment. He co-invented the MKO melt, which provides sedation during cataract surgery without the use of an IV. Additionally, he created astigmatismfix.com which helps thousands of surgeons per month fix residual astigmatism after cataract surgery. Finally, in an effort to improve access to care, he co-founded ExpertOpinion.MD which provides online opinions to patients from top doctors around the world. His CV can be accessed here:

Although Dr. Berdahl has many accomplishments, his primary driver is the trust that people place in him, particularly meeting his patients in their moments of vulnerability and putting their needs first. His commitment to the underserved is demonstrated by his leadership in EyeCare America, as well as in the Mission Vision program at Vance Thompson Vision, where he performs dozens of free surgeries every year. Dr. Berdahl also continues to serve the impoverished on mission trips world-wide.

View CV

Education & Training

High School - Hills-Beaver Creek High School, Hills, MN

College - Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD (Major - Physics; Minors - Chemistry and Biology)

Medical School - Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN

Internship - Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ

Residency - Duke University

Fellowship - Minnesota Eye Consultants

Selected Honors and Awards

In addition to over 45 peer-reviewed articles, over 35 book chapters, hundreds of presentations at national and international meetings and participation in 37 FDA clinical trials, some of Dr. Berdahl's notable accomplishments are listed below:

2018 Top 100 Most Influential People in Ophthalmology Worldwide – The Ophthalmologist

2018 Teacher of the Year – Sanford School of Medicine – Transitional Year Residents

2018 Speaker of the Day – Royal Hawaiian Eye Meeting

2017 #3 Ophthalmologist under 50 Worldwide – The Ophthalmologist

2016 One of 100 Entrepreneurs invited to The US President’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit – Stanford University

2016 NASA/NSBRI Grant – Safety of Pressure Manipulation around Eye

2016 ASCRS Innovators Lecture

2015 Member of the Vision for Mars Team NASA/NSBRI

2015 Best of Best Papers ASCRS 2015 ASCRS Sclerally Fixated Akreos Lens

2015 Top 40 Ophthalmologists under 40, The Ophthalmologist, World Wide Award

2015 Top 40 Business People under 40, Dakota Business News, Midwest Award

2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award

2013 #1 Young Outstanding Physician South Dakota State Medical Association

2011 Horizon Award (Most Accomplished Young Alumnus) Augustana College

2010 Vanguard Ophthalmology Society Founding Member & President

2008 Claes Dohlman Award (Most Outstanding Cornea Fellow), National Award – Harvard University

2008 Robert Machemer Research Award, Duke University

2008 Resident Teacher of the Year, Duke University

2008 Edward Isbey III, Resident of the Year Award, Duke University

2007 Ophthalmology Times Resident Writer’s Award First Place, Ophthalmology Times

Skills & Expertise

At Vance Thompson Vision, Dr. Berdahl is exceptionally skilled at diagnosing and deciphering a proper treatment for varying stages of glaucoma, corneal diseases, and cataracts. He is also a meticulous refractive surgeon. Should surgery be recommended, Dr. Berdahl is equipped to employ the most innovative and tested techniques available to effectively treat most diseases of the anterior segment (front part of the eye). 

Hobbies & Personal Interests

Dr. Berdahl lives in Sioux Falls, SD and is a devoted husband to wife Tamme and is a dedicated father to his son Tommy and his daughter Anabel. As a family, their interests range from outdoor activities such as watersports, hunting, scuba diving, astronomy, and athletics to playing the guitar, cooking, and community involvement. Dr. Berdahl is an avid reader and writer, and enjoys doing both during his free time.


"I flew in from Seattle WA to have LASIK performed by Dr. Berdahl at Vance Thompson Vision. From the moment I walked in, I was greeted warmly greeted. Their lobby eschews a traditional waiting room configuration and instead is setup more like coffee shop, including fresh baked cookies, coffee, fruit, and soda. Everyone there was friendly and took time to answer any and all questions. They explained the procedure step by step, went over the aftercare instructions. The whole time my comfort was the primary concern. The outcome of the surgery couldn't have been any better resulting in 20/15 eye. I'm so thrilled to be glasses and contact free. Thank you Dr. Berdahl!"



"I am absolutely amazed with my vision after LASIK surgery at Vance Thompson Vision. Until I no longer had to wear them, I didn't realize how much contact lenses were irritating my eyes and making them feel dry. I had surgery in the late afternoon on a Thursday and was at work at 7am Friday morning with 20/15 vision. I cannot say enough about how wonderful my experience has been. I would recommend Dr. Berdahl and Vance Thompson Vision over and over again, it truly is a world class establishment!"



"The staff is awesome, Dr Berdahl’s team is amazing, as is Dr Berdahl. I am treated like family and I love it!"



"Vance Thompson Vision: COMFORTIBLE and PROFESSIONAL. I had eye surgery done at Vance Thompson Vision. It did exactly what they said it would and it eliminated my need for glasses. It was very comfortable and professional from the waiting areas to the finished product. I would definitely recommend them. Feel free to contact me. DEL JOHNKE"



"I had both cataracts removed. The only reason I was willing to do the second one is because the first was the easiest procedure I have ever been through! LOL!! Dr. Berdahl’s team really put my nerves at ease!! Highly recommend this facility...from start to finish!!"