Reports of the long-term results of excisional surgery for Crohn's disease restricted to the large intestine have revealed apparently conflicting data. Recurrent enteritis after colectomy and ileotomy varies from 3% to 46%. Variations in patient selection, differences in pathologic criteria and criteria for defining recurrences, and length, completeness, and accuracy of the follow-up may well explain such differences in the literature. Certainly, the extent of the operative procedure could influence recurrence rates. A retrospective review was undertaken to determine whether segmental colon resection was ever justified in patients with Crohn's disease clinically confined to the colon.