OBJECTIVE: To present the profiles of spinal cord tumors that can be removed through a unilateral hemilaminectomy and to demonstrate its usefulness for benign spinal cord tumors that significantly occupy the spinal canal. METHODS: From June 2004 to October 2010, 25 spinal cord tumors were approached with unilateral hemilaminectomy. We calculated the cross-sectional occupying ratio (CSOR) of tumor to spinal canal before and after the operations. RESULTS: The locations of the tumors were intradural extramedullary in 20 cases, extradural in 2, and intramedullary in 3. The levels of the tumors were lumbar in 12, thoracic 9, and cervical 4. In all cases, the tumor was removed grossly and totally without damaging spinal cord or roots. The mean height and width of the lesions we195re 17.64 mm (3-47.5) and 12.62 mm (4-32.7), respectively. The mean CSOR was 69.40% (range, 27.8-96.9%). Postoperative neurological status showed improvement in all patients except one whose neurologic deficit remained unchanged. Postoperative spinal stability was preserved during the follow-up period (mean, 21.5 months) in all cases. Tumor recurrence did not develop during the follow-up period. CONCLUSION: Unilateral hemilaminectomy combined with microsurgical technique provides sufficient space for the removal of diverse spinal cord tumors. The basic profiles of the spinal cord tumors which can be removed through the unilateral hemilaminectomy demonstrate its role for the surgery of the benign spinal cord tumors in various sizes.