The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of risk factors for predicting survival and to evaluate the efficacy of the radical surgery in patients with early stage cervical carcinoma. A total of 200 women who underwent radical hysterectomy and bilateral pelvic lymph node dissection for early stage cervical carcinoma were retrospectively analysed. We found that lymph node involvement (P <0.0015) and lymphovascular invasion (P <0.05) were the best prognostic factors for disease-free survival in our cases. The depth of cervical invasion, lymphovascular invasion and parametrial spread were closely related with lymph node involvement. Parametrial spread was shown in 38 patients (19%), assessed as stage Ia-IIa pre-operatively. Seventy-six stage Ib patients, at high-risk of recurrence, received adjuvant radiotherapy. Although there was some local tumour recurrence in the control group, adjuvant radiotherapy did not improve the overall survival in stage Ib patients. As a consequence, primary surgery would be definitive in estimating survival from histopathological evaluation. This study demonstrates that lymph node involvement and lymphovascular space infiltration were the best predictor factors for survival.