Fifty-five patients with Stage IB adenocarcinoma of the cervix were treated by radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy from 1965 through 1985. Bleeding was the presenting symptom in 56% of the patients. Twenty patients underwent cone biopsy for diagnostic purposes and 70% had residual carcinoma at the time of definitive surgery. A single postoperative death occurred as the result of pulmonary embolism. Tumor size, depth of invasion, and nodal metastases proved to be important prognostic factors. Tumor grade and histologic type were not related to tumor recurrence, although adenosquamous carcinoma was more frequently associated with a greater depth of invasion. Nine patients had nodal metastases, and 78% of patients with spread to the regional nodes developed recurrent carcinoma. Microscopic invasion beyond the cervix or metastases to lymph nodes was present in all but two of the 12 patients with recurrence after surgery. The overall recurrence rate was 22%, with 10 of 12 patients dead of disease, one patient alive with disease, and one patient without evidence of disease. Peritoneal cytologic studies were performed on 22 patients and all had negative cytologic findings. None of the patients with recurrent disease had evidence of intraperitoneal spread. Ninety-one percent of the patients had ovarian preservation, and there is no evidence that this contributed to tumor recurrence.