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Many forms of lid speculum have been devised for controlling the eyelids during operative procedures on the eyeball, most of which depend on the force of a spring of some character to retract the lids. All these devices have their weakness in their frailty and the fact that the patient "can squeeze the eyeball itself" with the lids and actually throw the speculum out of the eye during the operation.
With the ordinary form of speculum, the routine procedure before doing a cataract extraction, after the patient has been placed in position on the table, is to talk to him to get control and his confidence and attempt to exert a hypnotic influence on his mind. If he happens to be a good patient, the surgeon succeeds. If nervous and excitable, as most are, he may roll the head to one side at the critical moment, when the knife is
Crossley ER. A DEVICE TO IMMOBILIZE THE HEAD AND EYELIDS DURING OPERATIONS ON THE EYEBALL. JAMA. 1917;LXIX(25):2103-2104. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.25910520002011a