Flomax and Cataracts

Flomax use at any time in the past for virtually any period of time can complicate cataract surgery by making the iris (colored part of the eye) floppy and interfering with the dilation of the pupil to gain access to the Cataract.

Dr. Malitz uses special techniques to minimize the impact of previous Flomax use.  The first step is preoperative dilation with a strong agent for several days such as Atropine.  Intraoperatively, if the pupil dilates poorly, Shugarcaine can be injected to enlarge and somewhat stiffen the iris.  The incision is constructed somewhat more anteriorly to avoid iris prolapse during the surgery.

  If dilation is still inadequate, a pupil expander such as the Malugyan ring can be used.

The condition has been called IFIS or  Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome.

Boehringer Ingelheim notified healthcare professionals that a surgical condition called Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome has been observed during phacoemulsification cataract surgery in some patients taking alpha-1 blockers such as Flomax (tamsulosin HCI). These drugs are used to treat benign prostate enlargement.