Abstract According to the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study, at least 5% of eyes receiving optimal medical treatment will still have progressive retinopathy that requires laser treatment and pars plana vitrectomy. During the past decade, improvements in instrumentation and surgical techniques have allowed more difficult cases of diabetic retinopathy to be candidates for vitrectomy. However, although the thresholds for performing surgery within established indicated situations have been lowered, only a few additional indications have been established. Although vitrectomy improves the prognosis for a favorable visual outcome, preventive measures, such as improved control of glucose levels and timely application of panretinal photocoagulation, produce better results. The authors review the indications, techniques, and results of vitrectomy in the management of diabetic retinopathy.