Forty-eight patients treated for chronic incapacitating constipation by surgical resection were reviewed. Thirty-seven had subtotal colectomy, eight had left colectomy, two had right hemicolectomy, and one had ileostomy, colectomy, and a Hartmann pouch. There were significant complications (21 per cent) and one mortality (2 per cent). A long-term successful outcome was found in 81 per cent of the patients on follow-up. Physiologic studies are recommended to improve the selection of patients.