Thirty-six patients have had a segmental colonic resection for Crohn's colitis between 1948 and 1984. There were 2 deaths caused by intraabdominal abscesses present before operation. There were no cases of anastomotic dehiscence in the 29 patients having segmental resection and immediate anastomosis. The reoperation rate at 10 years was 66% (95% confidence interval, 48-84%), the majority of reresections being for recurrent large bowel Crohn's disease. The 10-year reoperation rates were higher than after subtotal colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis (53%; 95% confidence interval, 37-69%) performed in a comparable group of patients with colonic Crohn's disease. The difference did not achieve statistical significance. These findings suggest that when a patient with Crohn's disease has a short segment of diseased large bowel, a segmental resection is feasible and safe.