IPAA surgery has evolved to assume a major role in the operative management of CUC and FAP. In experienced centres, the safety of performing this somewhat complex procedure, often in gravely ill patients, has been confirmed. A significant decrease in morbidity has accompanied increased experience and simplification of the operative techniques. Two major issues await resolution. The first has to do with the less than totally predictable functional results of IPAA surgery. While many patients do well, others, for no apparent reason, do poorly with excess frequency, urgency and incontinence. Whether operative modifications or preoperative testing can alter this outcome is at this time unclear. The second issue has to do with the potential long-term sequelae of IPAA surgery. Pouchitis and nutritional and metabolic consequences, including the potential for malignant transformation of ileal mucosa or of retained rectal mucosa, cannot be ignored. At present, these risks seem remote but only long-term follow-up will determine whether IPAA surgery deserves its current enthusiasm.