Between January, 1st, 1980 and December, 31st, 1993 all patients with curative removed gastric carcinoma were registered to evaluate the effect of an extended lymph node dissection on prognosis and perioperative risk. Therefore an analysis of all resected lymphatic nodes in 260 patients could be performed. Referring to the depth of tumor infiltration and the extension of the lymph node dissection (< 10 vs > 10 tumor negative lymph nodes) a significant difference could be found only for the pT 2 group. In this group the average survival time could be improved from 21 to 62 months (p < 0.018) by extended lymph node dissection, without increasing the perioperative morbidity. In our experience the extended lymphadenectomy offers a significantly improved survival for patients with non invasive gastric cancer without enhanced perioperative risk or mortality.