Fifty-six patients with complicated retinal detachments were managed with vitreous surgery and one of two perfluorocarbon gases. These gases are capable of greater expansion and greater longevity compared to sulfur hexafluoride. Forty-five patients received perfluoropropane (C3F8), eleven received perfluoroethane (C2F6). The retinas of 31 patients (55.4%) were attached at six months after the disappearance of the gas. In many instances, operations performed with air-sulfur hexafluoride mixtures had failed and the retina was subsequently reattached with the use of the perfluorocarbon gases. The major complications were increased intraocular pressure, which was usually transient, and gas-induced lens opacities.