Background Oncologic outcomes after complete mesocolic excision (CME) in colon cancer are under investigation. The aim of our study was to compare CME and conventional colectomy (CC) in terms of pathological and oncological outcomes for right colon cancer and to evaluate the impact of lymph node metastasis around the vascular tie on survival. Methods Consecutive patients with right colon cancer who had CME or CC between January 2011 and August 2018 at two specialized centers in Turkey were included. Statistical analyses were performed with respect to demographic characteristics, operative and pathologic outcomes, harvested and metastatic lymph nodes around the vascular tie (LNVT), recurrences, and survival. Results There were 91 patients in the CME group (58 males, mean age 64 +/- 16 years) and 192 patients in the CC group (96 males, mean age 66 +/- 14 years). The mean number of harvested lymph nodes (CME: 42 +/- 15 vs CC: 34 +/- 13, p = 0.01) and LNVT were higher in the CME group (CME: 3.2 +/- 2.2 vs CC: 2.4 +/- 1.6, p = 0.001). LNVT metastases were 7.7% and 8.3% in the CME and CC groups, respectively (p = 0.85). Three-year overall and disease-free survival rates were 96.4% and 90.9% in the CME group and 90.4% and 87.6% in the CC group in stage I-III patients (p > 0.05). In stage III patients, the 3-year overall survival (92.5% vs 63.5%, p = 0.03) and disease-free survival (85.6% vs 52.1%, p = 0.008) were significantly better in LNVT-negative patients than in LNVT-positive patients. Conclusion LNVT metastasis seems to be the key factor associated with poor disease-free and overall survival in right colon cancer regardless of the radicality of surgery.