Abstract Objectives. To examine the outcomes of patients with newly diagnosed metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who underwent initial nephrectomy as a component of therapy, because the role of nephrectomy in the treatment of patients with metastatic RCC is uncertain. Methods. A retrospective review of 63 patients who underwent radical nephrectomy with or without additional surgical procedures in the setting of metastatic RCC was performed. Pretreatment characteristics and the type of surgery were examined as predictors of outcome, and the type of systemic therapy received (if any) and overall survival were determined. Results. The median patient age was 59 years (range 39 to 79). Thirty-two patients had a single metastatic site, with the most common sites being the lung (n = 33), lymphatics (n = 32), and bone (n = 19). Seventeen patients (27%) also underwent vena cavotomy during surgery. Two patients died perioperatively. Thirty-nine (62%) patients underwent systemic therapy after surgery, and 6 patients (9.5%) were rendered free of disease and elected not to receive systemic treatment. The median survival was 17.8 months. Conclusions. Primary renal surgery may be beneficial for selected patients with metastatic RCC, and most patients will be able to receive postoperative systemic therapy.