The pelvic pouch and ileoanal anastomosis procedure should be considered a reasonable alternative for selected patients with ulcerative colitis and familial polyposis. Patients can expect an improved quality of life without a stoma, particularly those with ulcerative colitis. The long-term effects of the reservoir are not completely known; however, from previous reports and from experience with the Kock's ileostomy reservoir, it seems unlikely that there will be a long-term metabolic problems. It appears that a reservoir is essential in adults to minimize stool frequency to an acceptable level and that there is an inverse correlation between pouch size and stool frequency. We still consider this to be an evolutionary procedure and, as such, it should be confined to specialized centers where larger experiences can be accumulated. For the majority of patients who are being considered for proctocolectomy and ileostomy, we urge that they be made aware of alternative forms of therapy and that retaining the rectum should be considered in these patients due to the possibility of reconstructive surgery at a future date.