We evaluated the potential of mesh-based Monte Carlo (MC) method for widefield time-gated fluorescence molecular tomography, aiming to improve accuracy in both shape discretization and photon transport modeling in preclinical settings. An optimized software platform was developed utilizing multithreading and distributed parallel computing to achieve efficient calculation. We validated the proposed algorithm and software by both simulations and in vivo studies. The results establish that the optimized mesh-based Monte Carlo (mMC) method is a computationally efficient solution for optical tomography studies in terms of both calculation time and memory utilization. The open source code, as part of a new release of mMC, is publicly available at http://mcx.sourceforge.net/mmc/.