The documented leak rate of the continuous single layer polypropylene (CSLP) anastomosis in elective colon resection is 0-6 per cent. It is more cost effective than stapling (S), and should be faster and easier to perform than the double-layer (DL) technique. However, there have been no reported series comparing the outcome of the CSLP anastomosis with the DL and S techniques. We reviewed the charts of 100 patients with elective colon resections. Eighty-four had data sufficient for analysis. There were 44 CSLP, 21 DL, and 19 S. The groups were comparable with respect to 12 preoperative variables. Proportionately more large-small bowel anastomoses were performed in the S group, and no patient in the S group was actively taking steroids. Clinical outcome was assessed. All leaks were clinically apparent and documented with contrast enema or laparotomy. The leak rate for the CSLP was 6.8 per cent (3/44). Two of the three patients with leaks were taking steroids. There were two leaks in the DL group (9.5%), one of which was taking steroids, and no leaks in the S group. The difference in leak rate between the three groups was not statistically significant. The average cost for CSLP at our institution is $4.00 compared with $8.00 and $35.00 for the DL and S, respectively. We conclude that the CSLP is a reasonable and safe alternative to DL and S anastomoses.