The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of simple appendectomy versus right hemicolectomy in the treatment of localized adenocarcinoid of the appendix. A literature review of retrospective chart reviews from 1966 to March 1, 2003, was performed. Outcomes of retrospective chart reviews were assessed on the basis of treatment modality. Meta-analysis of studies by determining odds ratios for appendectomy versus extended resection using the Hunter-Schmidt meta-analytic method was performed. One hundred patients from 13 studies met inclusion criteria. Seven per cent failure rate with appendectomy alone and 10 per cent with extended resection were observed [OR 1.9 (0.6-5.8); association chi2 1.15, 1 df, P = 0.28]. Our data supports the use of appendectomy alone in localized cases of adenocarcinoid of the appendix provided there is no cecal involvement and the tumor's histology is low grade.