A prospective study of 222 consecutive patients undergoing pars plana vitrectomy was done to determine the incidence and mechanisms of postoperative intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation. Within 48 hours of surgery, postoperative IOP increased by at least 5 to 22 mmHg in 136 eyes (61.3%) and to 30 mmHg or more in 79 eyes (35.6%). Presumed mechanisms of open-angle glaucoma included intraocular gas expansion (28.4%), inflammatory trabecular meshwork obstruction (4.5%), silicone oil-related glaucoma (3.6%), and erythroclastic glaucoma (2.2%). Closed-angle mechanisms included pupillary block glaucoma (6.8%) and ciliary body edema (3.6%). Factors which were associated with postvitrectomy pressure elevation included placement of a scleral buckle, either intraoperatively (P = 0.003) or before vitrectomy (P = 0.001), intraoperative scatter endophotocoagulation (P = 0.041), intra-operative lensectomy (P = 0.024), and development of postoperative fibrin membranes (P = 0.038). Surgery was required to lower IOP or relieve pupillary block in 25 eyes (11.3%).