The first significant experience with the straight endorectal pullthrough for the management of ulcerative colitis was presented before the American Surgical Association in 1977 by Lester Martin. Since then the operation with or without modification has been used extensively. High stool frequencies in some series led to disenchantment with the straight anastomosis and to the development of various reservoir procedures to increase rectal capacity and thereby reduce frequency. As a result, no large series of straight pullthroughs is available for comparison with the reservoir modifications. Between September 1977 and September 1986, 72 children and adults, 61 with ulcerative colitis and 11 with familial polyposis, underwent endorectal pullthrough (ERPT) and straight ileoanal anastomosis under the overall direction of a single surgeon (AGC). Sixty patients have undergone ileostomy closure and form the basis of this study. Mean age at operation was 22.7 years (range 4-48 yr), and duration of active disease averaged 6 years. One-half of the patients underwent total abdominal colectomy with ERPT as a primary procedure. There were 11 cases of adhesive bowel obstruction following ERPT, and in six patients in the series permanent revision to a Brooke ileostomy was required. One patient died of hepatic failure in the late postoperative period. Follow-up has ranged from 3 months to 9 years. Mean stool frequency for the group as a whole at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months was 11.8, 11.2, 9.6, 9.0, and 8.3 per 24 hours, respectively. Daytime continence was achieved in all patients. Occasional nocturnal soiling occurred in 11.1% of patients at 1 year. Stool frequency and continence were also analyzed by age group above and below 18 years and above and below 30 years. There were no statistically significant differences between these groups. The authors conclude from this study that ERPT with straight ileoanal anastomosis remains an appropriate alternative for children and adults with ulcerative colitis or familial polyposis and compares favorably with the more complicated ERPT involving a reservoir.