OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the outcomes of Stage I endometrial carcinoma patients who are managed without adjuvant radiation after comprehensive surgical staging. METHODS: A computerized hospital database identified women diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the endometrium from 1993 to 1998. A chart review identified 864 women as having primary surgery for adenocarcinoma of the endometrium. A total of 670 of 864 patients (78%) underwent comprehensive surgical staging with total hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, pelvic/para-aortic lymphadenectomy, and peritoneal cytology. After 57 patients with high-risk histologic subtypes were excluded, 613 patients remained for analysis. RESULTS: A total of 321 of 325 Stage IB patients (99%) did not receive adjuvant radiation. Fifteen of 321 patients (5%) recurred; 9 recurred in the pelvis or vagina. All 9 local recurrences were salvaged with whole pelvic radiation (XRT) and brachytherapy (BT). Seventy-seven patients were diagnosed with Stage IC disease; 53 (69%) received no adjuvant therapy. Four patients (8%) recurred, of which 2 recurred in the vagina. Three of 4 patients (75%) were salvaged, 2 with XRT/BT and 1 with surgery and chemotherapy. For all Stage I patients, the 5-year disease-free survival was 93% and the 5-year overall survival was 98%. CONCLUSIONS: Surgically staged patients with endometrial carcinoma confined to the uterine corpus have a small risk of recurrence and the majority of these recurrences can be salvaged with radiation therapy. Conservative management of Stage I endometrial carcinoma patients is an effective treatment strategy.