AB colon; Fourteen patients with chronic constipation due to colonic inertia were treated with total abdominal colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1981 to 1986. All patients were white women ranging in age from 28 to 64 years (mean 41 years). The duration of symptoms averaged 21 years (range six to 47 years) and the average time between bowel movements was ten days. The preoperative evaluation included barium enema in 12 patients and colonoscopy in five (some patients had both studies). Anorectal dysfunction was excluded by manometry in ten patients and by rectal biopsy in six. Colonic transit studies were accomplished in only two patients. The hospital stay averaged 13 days, and there was no operative mortality. Postoperative morbidity included one case of small bowel obstruction, necessitating operative correction on postoperative day 9. Follow-up ranged from three months to five years. At their last clinic visit, the patients averaged two bowel movements per day. All patients had excellent bowel control and were happy with the procedure.