Prophylactic treatment of retinal breaks has been examined in several studies and reviews, but so far, no studies have successfully applied a systematic approach. In the present systematic review, we examined the need of follow-up after posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) - diagnosed by slit-lamp biomicroscopy or Goldmann 3-mirror examination - with regard to retinal breaks as well as the indication of prophylactic treatment in asymptomatic and symptomatic breaks. A total of 2941 publications were identified with PubMed and Medline searches. Two manual search strategies were used for papers in English published before 2012. Four levels of screening identified 13 studies suitable for inclusion in this systematic review. No meta-analysis was conducted as no data suitable for statistical analysis were identified. In total, the initial examination after symptomatic PVD identified 85-95% of subsequent retinal breaks. Additional retinal breaks were only revealed at follow-up in patients where a full retinal examination was compromised at presentation by, for example, vitreous haemorrhage. Asymptomatic and symptomatic retinal breaks progressed to rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) in 0-13.8% and 35-47% of cases, respectively. The cumulated incidence of RRD despite prophylactic treatment was 2.1-8.8%. The findings in this review suggest that follow-up after symptomatic PVD is only necessary in cases of incomplete retinal examination at presentation. Prophylactic treatment of symptomatic retinal breaks must be considered, whereas no unequivocal conclusion could be reached with regard to prophylactic treatment of asymptomatic retinal breaks.