The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of laparoscopy (LS) in endometrial carcinoma staging. Clinical early stage endometrial cancer patients (n = 153) staged by LS or laparotomy (LT) were compared. A total of 40 (26.1%) patients were treated by LS and 113 (73.9%) by LT. All patients underwent pelvic lymphadenectomy. Lymphadenectomy has been extended to para-aortic space in 55% of the LS group and 70% of the LT group. The majority of patients had stage I-II disease. The median numbers of removed pelvic and para-aortic lymph nodes were similar in two groups (p values 0.213 and 0.199, respectively). Body mass index (BMI) (kg/m(2)) was higher in the LT group (31.2 vs 27.4, p < 0.05). Operation time, age, tumour histology, para-aortic lymphadenectomy and complication rates were similar in the two groups. Four (10%) patients in the LS group and 12 (10.6%) in the LT group had recurrence of disease (p = 1.0). There was no statistical difference for overall survival between the two groups. In conclusion, these findings showed that in endometrial carcinoma cases, laparoscopy has provided adequate staging and similar survival rates with laparotomy.