The authors reviewed 38 cases of suprasellar meningioma to determine the correlation between tumor site and postoperative visual outcome. Progressive visual loss, the most frequent initial complaint (94.7%), occurred over a mean of 24 1/2 months, was most often unilateral (18 patients) or bilateral but asymmetrical (14 patients), and was severe (20/200 vision or worse) in 23 patients; 24 patients had visual field abnormalities. Computerized tomography or magnetic resonance studies clearly delineated the lesions but did not appear to permit earlier diagnosis. Eleven patients had tumors limited to the tuberculum sellae; the tumor extended from the tuberculum sellae onto the planum sphenoidale in nine patients, into one optic canal in eight, onto the diaphragma sellae in seven, and onto the medial sphenoid wing in three. Patients with tumors affecting the optic canal had severe unilateral visual loss more often than those with tumors at other sites. Tumors limited to the tuberculum sellae were most often completely resected; postoperative recovery of vision was also most frequent in patients with tumors at this site. Tumors involving the diaphragma sellae or the medial sphenoid wing were least often completely removed and most likely to be associated with postoperative visual deterioration. Overall, 42% of patients had improved vision postoperatively, 30% remained unchanged, and 28% were worse. After a mean follow-up period of 38 months, 24 patients are doing well, four have significant visual disability, and three are blind or doing poorly. Two patients died of causes unrelated to their tumor. Three patients have had tumor recurrence.