First, do no harm. We believe that the analgesia provided by topical anaesthetic is adequate for small-incision cataract surgery and does not compromise the safety of the surgery. In addition, the lack of amaurosis is ideal for day-case surgery, which itself is increasingly popular. If preventable, why not prevented? The greatest attraction of topical anaesthesia is its complete absence of the complications described for injectional local anaesthetic techniques. We therefore recommend that our colleagues consider topical anaesthetic for patients undergoing small-incision cataract surgery under local anaesthesia. Our policy for the past 3 years has been to use only topical or general anaesthetics for cataract surgery.