Some men with prostate issues are prescribed medications such as Tamsulosin, like Flomax. These drugs help to improve urine flow. If these men also have cataract issues and require surgery to fix them, they could potentially be looking a surgical complication called intraoperative floppy iris syndrome, or IFIS. They could also be considered at higher risk for a detached retina. Both of these issues have been linked to those drugs.
The prostate issues are what are termed alpha-blockers which are prescribed to relax prostate muscles which in turn help the bladder to empty. Unfortunately, they also affect the muscles in the colored part of the eye known as the iris.
During a surgery like cataract surgery, the pupil of the eye can suddenly constrict. This hinders a surgeon’s ability to successfully complete the operation. This is what can cause the possible complications.
Out of 1,000 cataract surgeons surveyed, 95% of them responded to a 2008 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Survey that they encountered IFIS in men that had been taking those alpha-blockers indicated earlier. Part of the issue is that most of those men fail to inform their eye surgeon that they are actually taking alpha-blockers for prostate or other health issues.
If your male patients need cataract surgery and you are aware of their assigned medications, then it is your responsibility to communicate that to their eye surgeon. It is all in effort to show them that With Age Comes Respect.