Objective and Methods. The outcome in late decompressive hemicraniectomy in malignant middle cerebral artery stroke and the optimal timings of surgery has not been addressed by the randomized trials and pooled analysis. Retrospective, multicenter, cross-sectional study to measure outcome following DHC under 48 or over 48 hours using the modified Rankin scale [mRS] and dichotomized as favorable ≤4 or unfavorable >4 at three months. Results. In total, 137 patients underwent DHC. Functional outcome analyzed as mRS 0-4 versus mRS 5-6 showed no difference in this split between early and late operated on patients [P=0.140] and mortality [P=0.975]. Multivariate analysis showed that age ≥ 55 years, MCA with additional infarction, septum pellucidum deviation ≥1 cm, and uncal herniation were independent predictors of poor functional outcome at three months. In the "best" multivariate model, second infarct growth rate [IGR2] >7.5 ml/hr, MCA with additional infarction, and patients with temporal lobe involvement were independently associated with surgery under 48 hours. Both first infarct growth rate [IGR1] and second infarct growth rate [IGR2] were nearly double [P<0.001] in patients with early surgery [under 48 hours]. Conclusions. The outcome and mortality in malignant middle cerebral artery stroke patients operated on over 48 hours of stroke onset were comparable to those of patients operated on less than 48 hours after stroke onset. Our data identifies IGR, temporal lobe involvement, and middle cerebral artery with additional infarct as independent predictors for early surgery.