The results of 200 consecutive scleral buckling procedures in which the argon endolaser probe was used to create a choroidotomy for drainage of subretinal fluid are reported. This technique was used in any case requiring drainage and was specifically employed in cases in which needle drainage was contraindicated because the detachment was shallow. The argon laser was set at 0.2 seconds, 1.25 watts, and was used with the endolaser probe held adjacent to, but not touching, the choroid. Drainage was successfully accomplished in 98% of cases. Rates of subretinal hemorrhage, retinal incarceration, and perforation related to laser drainage were 5.5%, 2.5%, and 1%, respectively. No large or submacular subretinal hemorrhages occurred. This technique appears to be particularly promising for drainage of shallow retinal detachments.