Between July 1979 and January 1989 there were 31 patients who underwent pelvic exenteration with low rectal anastomosis (PE and LRA) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). There were no operative deaths; however, 32% of the patients experienced significant postoperative morbidity. Survival (Kaplan-Meier) at 1 year is 86%. Overall survival is 68% with follow-up ranging from 10 months to greater than 9 years. For those patients with disease confined to the cervix and/or vagina (n = 18) the survival is 89% while it is 38% for patients with spread to the bladder, rectum, or parametrium (n = 13). Survival was not influenced by tumor differentiation, time from irradiation to exenteration, or initial stage. Complete healing of the LRA was achieved in 16 patients (52%). However, in the subset of patients with an omental wrap (n = 13) the complete healing rate is 85%. Protective colostomies were utilized in 12 patients; however, this was not shown to improve the healing rate of the LRA. This group of patients is compared to similar patients who had anterior pelvic exenteration at UAB for morbidity and survival. LRA at the time of pelvic exenteration for recurrent cervical cancer is associated with acceptable morbidity and survival and should be attempted in those patients who are appropriate candidates.