Cerebral metastases are the most frequent cerebral tumours. Surgery of cerebral metastases plays an indispensible role in a multimodal therapy concept. Conventional white-light, microscopy assisted microsurgical and circumferential stripping of cerebral metastases is neurosurgical standard therapy, but is associated with an extraordinarily high recurrence rate of more than 50% without subsequent whole-brain radiotherapy. Therefore, neurosurgical standard therapy fails to achieve local tumour control in many patients. The present conceptual paper focuses on this issue and discusses the possible causes of the high recurrence rates such as intraoperative dissemination of tumour cells or the lack of sharp delimitation of metastases from the surrounding brain tissue resulting in incomplete resections. Adjuvant wholebrain radiotherapy reduces the risk of local and distant recurrences, but is associated with a well-documented impairment of neurocognitive function. New surgical strategies, such as supramarginal or fluorescence-guided resection, address the possibility of infiltrating tumour parts to achieve more complete resection of cerebral metastases. Supramarginal resection was shown to significantly reduce the risk of a local recurrence and prolongs two-year survival rates. Furthermore, radiosurgery in combination with surgery represents a promising approach.