In this double-blind study, retrobulbar block for cataract surgery was produced in 43 patients with etidocaine 1% and in 37 patients with a mixture of equal volume of lidocaine 2% and bupivacaine 0.75% (final concentrations of 1% and 0.375%, respectively). While a greater proportion of etidocaine-treated patients needed supplemental drug for block, the times of onset of sensory and motor block were not different for the two groups. Compared to treatment with etidocaine, patients treated with the mixture had a slower recovery of motor function. While the proportion of patients reporting postoperative pain was about the same in each group, both the onset of pain and the use of analgesic agents occurred earlier in the group treated with etidocaine. Thus retrobulbar blocks produced by the combination of lidocaine and bupivacaine occurred as rapidly as those produced by etidocaine but had a longer duration.