Retinal detachment complicating proliferative diabetic retinopathy is being recognized with increasing frequency. Although one type of detachment is tractional and requires vitrectomy for hopeful repair, the other variety of detachment is rhegmatogenous. The rhegmatogenous form of retinal detachment does not generally require the radical surgical approach of vitrectomy. However, because of the unusual nature of the retinal detachment, a standard encircling scleral buckling procedure does not suffice to correct the problem. The unusual characteristics of this form of retinal detachment are discussed, and the criteria for types of surgical repair are considered. A modification of scleral buckling procedure which has been successful in anatomically reattaching most rhegmatogenous retinal detachments is described. The complications resulting from surgery are reviewed along with methods to avoid complications.