The results of a retrospective study of the effects of silicone oil removal from 85 eyes in 85 patients are reported. Pars plana vitrectomy and fluid/silicone oil exchange had been undertaken for retinal detachments associated with giant retinal tears or with proliferative vitreoretinopathy in all cases. Clinically significant cataract developed in 60% of lenses that were clear at the time of oil removal, and 85% of pre-existing lens opacities progressed. Removal of oil from 19 eyes with uncontrollable glaucoma was combined with drainage surgery in 14 eyes. Postoperatively the intraocular pressure was controlled in 13. Corneal decompensation either improved or was unchanged in eight out of nine patients after silicone oil removal, and three patients had penetrating keratoplasty and maintained a clear corneal graft. Patients who did not have glaucoma or keratopathy at the time of silicone oil removal did not develop these complications.