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Of 327 patients treated for ulcerative proctocolitis, 165 underwent surgery and an ileorectal anastomosis was performed in 59: 19 of these patients were operated upon in one stage and 40 in two stages. In 13 cases the anastomoses had to be converted, 5 during the initial hospitalization and 8 during a later admission. Three patients developed carcinoma of the rectal stump. The median follow-up period was 15 years. It is concluded that ileorectal anastomosis has a place in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, but requires careful follow up of the patients.