Newsletter March 2019 – Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome

Newsletter March 2019 – Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome

Posted on Mar 25, 2019

Welcome to our new staff members, Rudo, Mike and Jill.

Rudo and Mike join the administration team at the front desk and Jill is a welcome addition to our nursing team.

Rudo came to Australia as an undergraduate 11 years ago. A mother of one who loves to study and cook, she has a strong background in aged care and administrative work. Rudo’s favourite saying is ‘smiling changes everything and is a free gift that keeps us all young’.

Mike has a background in youth work, sociology, anthropology, and health insurance. When he’s not behind the desk he’s playing rugby and video games. He’s a nerd (his words not mine!) but friendly and always here to help.

Jill is a ‘new, old nurse’ (again her words, not mine) who has recently moved to Melbourne from the Blue Mountains. She has extensive experience in General Practice with a special interest in Diabetes care. Jill joins the nursing team with me, Sarah, to offer more nursing appointments.


Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome

Dr Barbara has been thinking about writing her guest blog for a while now. She’s gone with a topic I have never heard of, have you?

Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS), a condition that can occur during cataract surgery, in those who have taken Tamsulosin (Flomaxtra) medication. Tamsulosin is commonly used in men with lower urinary tract symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. It helps to improve urinary flow rate and emptying, by relaxing the smooth muscle.

Studies have reported that there is an association between the use of Tamsulosin and IFIS. IFIS affects the muscle of the iris, which can present problems when it happens unexpectedly during cataract surgery. Even after the drug has been ceased, the muscle of the iris can remain affected.

It is important that eye surgeons are alerted, both by the referring GP and by men who have urinary emptying problems, if this medication has been used. There are alternative techniques, to prevent the iris ‘floppiness’, and ensure that cataract surgery is done safely.

If a patient is likely to require cataract surgery, it may be possible to delay treatment till after surgery has taken place. If in doubt, it may be wise to obtain a referral for an assessment of your vision prior to commencing treatment.



J Cataract Refract Surg. 2005 Apr;31(4):664-73.