Within the scope of a Retinal Fellowship of one year, we evaluated the anatomic and functional results of scleral buckling operations in primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. Eighty Consecutive non-selected patients with a primary retinal detachment were operated by one surgeon (Retinal Fellow-ELH). In 55 eyes an encircling band and radial buckle(s) were placed, the other 25 eyes were treated with a segmental buckle or a combination of both. In 62 eyes subretinal fluid was drained, and in 57 eyes air or SF-6 gas was injected. The anatomic success rate after one operation was 81% (65/80 eyes) and the final success rate was 99%. 38/65 (58%) of the eyes obtained a best corrected post-operative visual acuity of > or = 0.4. The most important cause of re-detachment was Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR; 11%). Pre-operative variables that yielded an unfavourable outcome in this study were: PVR, pseudophakic eye, larger breaks, more than one break, longer duration of the detachment, and 3 or more quadrants of detachment. Our anatomic success rate and risk factors are in agreement with findings described in the literature, yet we had a high rate of PVR and many patients with a low visual acuity (58% < or = 0.3) pre-operatively.