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This study was designed to compare self-reported sexual function, body image, and quality of life outcomes among ulcerative colitis patients undergoing laparoscopic or open ileal pouch-anal anastomosis.Between 1978 and 2004, 100 laparoscopic and 189 open operations were performed in patients who were identified from a previously published cohort. Patients were surveyed one year after operation to evaluate sexual function, body image, and quality of life.A total of 125 of 289 patients (43 percent) returned completed surveys. There were no significant differences in terms of demographics, complications, or long-term functional outcomes between those who completed the surveys and those who did not. There were no clinical differences in results between laparoscopic and open patients using the three survey instruments. Orgasmic function scores were lower in men who underwent laparoscopic ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (P< 0.05) compared with open ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. Overall, sexual function scores were equal to or better than normal values for men but were lower in women. Finally, overall body image and quality of life scores were above the means published for the United States.After ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, men and women reported excellent body image and high cosmetic and quality of life scores regardless of operative approach. Female sexual function was more adversely affected after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis than was male sexual function.