Thirty-nine eyes from 31 patients with retinal detachment due to cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis were treated by either laser photocoagulation (22 eyes), scleral buckle (9 eyes), pars plana vitrectomy (5 eyes), or no therapy (3 eyes). The success rates for photocoagulation (77.2%), scleral buckle (77.7%), and vitrectomy (with gas or oil, 80%) were similar. The median survival time was 95 days (range, of 7 to 280 days). The extent of detachment, the presence of active disease in either the periphery or the posterior pole, and overall health served to determine what type of therapy was best suited for each patient. Although silicone oil appears to be best for patients with a total retinal detachment and active disease, this small series suggests that conservative modes of therapy such as laser photocoagulation and scleral buckles can be used successfully to treat these patients if there is an absence of active retinitis.