To compare two different surgical techniques for the resection of the cardinal ligaments during radical operation for cervical cancer, 84 patients with locally advanced cervical cancer (FIGO stages IB-IIA > or = 4 cm, IIB-III) primarily treated with chemotherapy and then eligible for radical surgery underwent radical hysterectomy. Lateral parametria were resected by using the Meigs technique or a modified Magara technique. The procedure to be performed on the right hand side was randomly chosen, consequently the left cardinal ligament was resected with the other technique. Evaluation of the first 35 cases showed that the median size of the parametria resected with the modified Magara technique (52 mm) was significantly greater than that removed with the Meigs technique (34 mm) (P < 0.05). Therefore hemoclips were routinely adopted in the following 49 cases. In 11% of cases hemoclips could not be used due to a deep and narrow pelvis or varicosities of the hypogastric plexus, therefore clamps were necessary. Bleeding complicating parametrial dissection occurred independently of the adopted technique. Five-years DFS is 100, 80, and 52% for stage IB-IIA > 4 cm, IIB and III, respectively. The study showed that the modified Magara technique is feasible and safe and allows for a more radical resection of the parametrial tissue. Furthermore, this approach seems to improve the local control of disease.