In certain complex retinal detachments, even after apparently complete removal of epi- and/or subretinal membranes, the retina fails to relax sufficiently to permit reattachment. In such cases, a relaxing retinotomy may be necessary for release of traction and successful retinal attachment. Relaxing retinotomies involve transection of the neurosensory retina and the associated vascular supply. This procedure is only undertaken when the inherent loss of retinal function caused by the retinotomy is outweighed by an increased probability of the posterior retina remaining attached, leading to stabilization of ocular status. Retinotomy is only performed late in the procedure, after other techniques to release retinal traction, such as scleral buckling and peeling or transecting epi- and subretinal membranes, have been unsuccessful or insufficient.