Considerable controversy currently exists in the literature concerning the mode of catheter placement and its impact on the technical success of peritoneal dialysis (PD). We decided to compare the impact of the surgical versus the percutaneous insertion technique on peritoneal dialysis catheter (PDCs) complications and survival. Our study population comprised 152 patients in whom 170 PDCs were inserted between January 1990 and December 2007 at the main PD unit on the island of Crete. Eighty four catheters were surgically placed (S group) and 86 were placed percutaneously by nephrologists (N group). The total experience accumulated was 4997 patient-months. The overall complications did not differ between the two groups. Only early leakage was more frequent in N group than S group (10.3 versus 1.9 episodes per 1000 patient-months; p < 0.001). However, it was easily treated and did not constitute a cause of early catheter removal. Catheter survival was 91.1%, 80.7%, and 73.2%, in the S group versus 89.5%, 83.7%, and 83.7% for the N group at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively (p = 0.2). Catheter survival has significantly increased over the last decade. Factors positively affecting PDC survival appeared to be the use of mupirocin for exit site care and the utilization of the coiled type of catheter, practices implemented mainly after 1999. Peritonitis-free survival and patient survival were not associated with the mode of placement, while in Cox regression analysis, were longer in patients treated with automated PD. The placement mode did not affect PD outcomes. Percutaneous implantation proved a safe, simple, low cost, immediately available method for PDC placement and helped to expand our PD program.