Of 28 patients with a foreign body in the posterior segment, 24 were managed primarily and 4 had been referred for treatment of associated injuries or complications after extraction. There were 19 magnetic and 9 nonmagnetic (including 6 copper-containing) foreign bodies. Preoperative localization was achieved mainly by visual and radiologic (Sweet's) methods, supplemented by computer-assisted tomography and ultrasonography. The magnetic foreign bodies were extracted through the pars plana or sclera. The nonmagnetic foreign bodies were extracted mainly by a two-instrument vitrectomy technique through the pars plana. Secondary procedures included vitrectomy, lentectomy, scleral buckling and dissection of preretinal membranes. In a follow-up period ranging from 1 to 53 (average 14) months the overall salvage rate (final visual acuity 6/60 [20/200] or better) was 46%. Four eyes were enucleated.