Background and Purpose: The gold standard treatment for upper-tract transitional-cell carcinoma is radical nephroureterectomy, but management of the distal ureter is not standardized. Two treatment options to detach the distal ureter are open cystotomy (OC) and excision of a bladder cuff or transurethral incision of the ureteral orifice (TUIUO). We compared the clinico-pathologic outcomes of these two techniques. Patients and Methods: Hospital records were reviewed on all 51 patients who had undergone open or laparoscopic nephroureterectomy at our institution between 1 January 1990 and 30 June 2005. Patient demographics, intraoperative parameters, and pathology data were collected. The mean follow-up was 23.2 months (range 4.5-75 months) and 22.1 months (range 1-50 months) for the OC and TUIUO groups, respectively. There were no significant differences in sex, age at operation, American Society Anesthesiologists risk score, previous transitional-cell tumors, pathologic tumor grade and stage, or metastatic disease status in the two groups. Results: Five patients had an unplanned incomplete ureterectomy. The bladder recurrence rates were similar in the OC group (22.2%; 6/27) and the TUIUO group (26.3%; 5/19). There were no pelvic recurrences in either group. Four of the five patients who had an incomplete ureterectomy had tumor recurrences, three in the form of metastatic disease. Conclusion: Management of the distal ureter by TUIUO in appropriate patients offers the same rate of bladder recurrence as OC. Incomplete ureterectomy results in a significantly higher rate of recurrence, often associated with the development of metastatic disease.