The objective of this randomized study was to examine which reconstruction method and which pouch volume offer the best preconditions for a good quality of life and extensive physiologic regulation of gastrointestinal hormones after total gastrectomy. Up to now there is no general agreement with regard to the ideal reconstruction after total gastrectomy. The importance of the duodenal passage, the need for a pouch reconstruction, and the ideal pouch volume are matters of controversy. A total of 60 patients underwent the following reconstructions: Ulm pouch (pouch reconstruction with preservation of the duodenal passage), Hunt-Lawrence-Rodino pouch, or Roux-en-Y reconstruction without pouch. The clinical course, quality of life, and regulation of gastrointestinal hormones in correlation to reconstruction type and pouch volume were documented. Quality of life was assessed by means of a standardized specific questionnaire. Blood glucose, insulin, cholecystokinin, motilin, secretin, and pancreatic polypeptide were measured after stimulation by a standardized test meal. Six months after total gastrectomy those patients with an Ulm pouch were found to have a significantly better life quality (p < 0.01), higher body weight, and better physiologic regulation of gastrointestinal hormones; moreover, they developed (in contrast to all other reconstruction types) no pathologic glucose tolerance. Our conclusion is that all patients with a postoperative life expectancy of at least 6 months (i.e., tumor stages UICC I and II) should undergo pouch reconstruction with preservation of the duodenal passage.