Proliferative vitreoretinopathy is a composite of anterior and posterior proliferation producing multidirectional tractional forces and resultant complex management problems. In a series of 98 consecutive cases of nondiabetic, nontraumatic proliferative vitreoretinopathy, anterior proliferation caused retinal detachment in 58 patients. Relaxation of circumferential traction created by anterior proliferation in the vitreous base and its contiguous surfaces is achieved by multiple radial incisions in the vitreous base and associated anterior retina is eliminated by incision of the displaced anterior and posterior hyaloid surfaces. The subsequent release of posterior traction and determination of residual traction by sequential fluid-air exchange before final tamponade with longer acting gas or silicone oil is described. Total retinal reattachment was achieved in 23 of 33 eyes (70%) with only posterior proliferation compared to 27 of 47 eyes (57%) with significant anterior proliferation. Retinal attachment posterior to the scleral buckle was achieved in 27 of 33 eyes (82%) and 37 of 47 eyes (79%), respectively. Although the success rate was less in eyes with anterior proliferation, the retinal reattachment rates in the two groups approached comparability as experience and understanding of the clinical significance increased.