From 1985 onwards we have aimed at operating on good-risk patients, i.e., those graded I-III on the WFNS SAH Scale, within 3 days after the aneurysmal bleed. We report on a series of 100 consecutive operations for saccular aneurysm, covering a period of 5 1/2 years. Early operations (in the above sense) were done in 57 good-risk but otherwise unselected patients. After a one year follow-up, 47 of them (82%) were found to have made a good recovery (Glasgow Outcome Score I). The outcome of (mostly early) surgery in 15 selected poor-risk patients (WFNS SAH Scale IV and V) was much less favourable. Late surgery (4 or more days after SAH) was performed in 28 good-risk patients, most of whom had been admitted several days or weeks after the bleeding. Almost all of these patients had a good outcome. It is argued that the known management results of delayed surgery, which during the deliberately chosen interval exposes the patient to the risk of rebleeding and vasospasm, have by now been surpassed by those of early surgery. However excellent the surgical results of delayed operations may be, early operation should become the treatment of choice in good-risk patients.