Background The choice of surgical incision is determined by access to the surgical field, particularly when an oncological resection is required. Special consideration is also given to other factors, such as postoperative pain and its sequelae, fewer complications in the early postoperative period and a lower occurrence of incisional hernias. The purpose of this study is to compare the right Kocher’s and the midline incision, for patients undergoing right hemicolectomy, by focusing on short- and longterm results. Methods Between 1995 and 2009, hospital records for 213 patients that had undergone a right hemicolectomy for a right- sided adenocarcinoma were retrospectively studied. 113 patients had been operated via a Kocher’s and 100 via a midline incision. Demographic details, operative data (explorative access to the peritoneal cavity, time of operation), recovery parameters (time with IV analgesic medication, time to first oral fluid intake, time to first solid meal, time to discharge), and oncological parameters (lymph node harvest, TNM stage and resection margins) were analyzed. Postoperative complications were also recorded. The two groups were retrospectively well matched with respect to demographic parameters and oncological status of the tumor. Results The median length of the midline incision was slightly longer (12 vs. 10 cm, p < 0.05). The duration of the surgery for the Kocher’s incision group was significantly shorter (median time 70 vs 85 min, p < 0.001). In three patients we performed wedge resection of liver metastasis and in one patient we performed a typical right hepatectomy that lasted 190 min. No major operative complications were noted. There was no immediate or 30- day postoperative mortality. The Kocher’s incision group had a significantly shorter hospital stay (median time 5 vs 8 days). All patients underwent wide tumor excision and clear resection margins were obtained in all cases. No significant difference was noted regarding analgesia requirements and early postoperative complications. Late postoperative complications included 2 incisional hernias and three patients presented with one episode of obstructive ileus, that resolved conservatively. Conclusions The Kocher’s incision approach for right- sided colon cancer is technically feasible, safe and overall very well tolerated. It can achieve the same standards of tumor resection and surgical field accessibility as the midline approach, while reducing postoperative recovery.