Proctocolectomy and construction of a pelvic pouch with ileo-anal anastomosis is now an established method in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, but various procedures are still under evaluation. This series comprises 97 patients with a 20 cm long J-shaped pouch and a short rectal cuff of 2-5 cm, prospectively evaluated after 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. Eight patients had their pouch removed because of septic complications. All the remaining patients evacuate spontaneously, although around one third still use constipating agents after 1 year. The stooling frequency gradually diminished from 7 (4-15) per 24 h to 4 (2-6) after 12 months. Continence also gradually improved during this period. No patient was incontinent of faeces but 13% still experienced episodes of minor soiling after 12 months. The procedure has proved to be safe providing patients are carefully selected, and 90% achieve a satisfactory or acceptable functional result.