To determine the impact of an aborted radical hysterectomy on morbidity and overall survival in patients undergoing surgical treatment for early stage cervical carcinoma. Following IRB approval, a computerized database identified 304 women treated with radical surgery for early stage cervical carcinoma from 1994 to 2000 of which 23 (8%) had an aborted radical hysterectomy. Of the 23 patients, 17 patients had a IB 1 lesion, 4 patients had a IB 2 lesion, and 2 patients had a IIA lesion. Median age was 42 years (range 28-60). Twenty-one patients had squamous cell carcinoma and two patients had adenocarcinoma. Radical hysterectomy was aborted for the following reasons: 11 patients had pelvic extension, seven had positive pelvic nodes, and five patients had positive paraaortic nodes. All 23 patients received postoperative radiation therapy; additionally, 12 patients received concurrent chemotherapy consisting of platinum with or without 5-FU. There were four operative complications (17%) including deep vein thrombosis, wound infection, blood transfusion, and an ileus. Four patients (17%) had radiation-associated complications. Six of 23 (26%) patients experienced a recurrence. The 5-year overall survival was 83% with a median follow-up of 59 months (range 12-107 months). A small percentage of patients (8%) with early stage cervical carcinoma will have an aborted radical hysterectomy for pelvic extension or positive nodes. Fortunately, these patients still have a favorable prognosis with postoperative radiation therapy. Aborted radical surgery does not significantly increase overall complications. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.