DURING the past 15 years, digital pressure on the eye for five minutes following retrobulbar injections before cataract extraction has been popularized by Kirsch1,2 to decrease the incidence of vitreous loss. Clinically, ocular hypotony to reduce vitreous loss during cataract surgery had been appreciated by Atkinson.3-6 Experimental evidence in rabbits by Robbins et al7,8 has confirmed that ocular compression does squeeze fluid out of the vitreous and reduce its volume for a brief time.
This study was prompted by concern over the rapid recovery of the normal untreated eye from this hypotony phase since appreciable time may elapse between the period of digital pressure and the opening of the anterior chamber. Preliminary work by one of the investigators (R.A.S.) indicated that (1) the recovery from hypotony after digital pressure was sometimes surprisingly brief, (2) continuation of pressure on the globe during the early phases of cataract surgery
Schimek RA, Cooksey JC, Landreneau M, Steigner JB. The Recovery Phase After Ocular Hypotension Induced by Compression. Arch Ophthalmol. 1971;85(3):288-294. doi:10.1001/archopht.1971.00990050290008