Xenon gas was used as an intravitreal tamponade in four cases of retinal detachment. The rapid disappearance of the gas could be predicted by experiments with an animal model, and there was no notable hypotensive phase. The brief presence of the gas was sufficient to press out retinal folds and effect reattachment. The uveal response was less than with air or with the longer-lasting gases. The time the patient had to be in a prone or bent position was reduced to a few hours.