Radical resection (wedge resection of the gallbladder bed and dissection of the hepatoduodenal ligament, portal, and celiac lymph nodes) has been reported to improve survival from pathologic T2 gallbladder carcinoma (pT2 GBCa; invasion through the muscularis without perforation of the serosa). We report our experience and the outcome of patients with pT2 GBCa. Between 1989 and 2000 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center ten patients were found to have pT2 disease after cholecystectomy. The patients had an average age of 64+/-13 years and underwent either radical resection (n = 5) or no further surgical therapy (n = 5). Of the patients who underwent cholecystectomy only, one (20%) is still alive at 27 months and four (80%) died of recurrent GBCa between 6.5 and 21 months. For the patients who underwent radical resection all five are alive at 15 to 83 months with no recurrence. The proportion of patients surviving pT2 GBCa after radical resection was significantly greater than with cholecystectomy alone (P < 0.05). The difference in length of survival between the two groups was also significant (P < 0.05). Morbidity after radical resection was low (pancreatic leak in one patient), and there were no operative mortalities. Radical resection significantly improved survival over cholecystectomy alone for patients with pT2 GBCa. The procedure has low morbidity and mortality rates. Therefore a radical resection operation is indicated for patients with pT2 GBCa.