For generations, ophthalmic surgeons have worked toward perfecting the intracapsular extraction of cataracts. Yet, on occasion, even the most experienced and dexterous of surgeons unavoidably ruptures the capsule. Cryoextraction, in contrast to extraction by means of erisophake or forceps, by placing the tractive stress not on the fragile capsule but on the whole lens invariably assures a successful intracapsular operation.
It is rather surprising that cryoextraction has found little acceptance in this country since Krwawicz first reported his technique in 1961.1,2 Perhaps this has been due to a lack of completely satisfactory instrumentation. Krwawicz merely immersed a metal probe into a mixture of alcohol and solid carbon dioxide, lowering the temperature effectively but for a relatively short period that made rapid surgery (or repeated immersions and applications) necessary.
Other instruments that are now available are the liquid nitrogen unit originally developed for brain surgery (involving a massive monitoring unit)
BELLOWS JG. Indications and Technique of Cryoextraction of Cataracts. Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;73(4):476-481. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970030478006