Right colon resections are perceived as less morbid than left colon resections. The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in outcomes between right-and left-side colon resections. We reviewed 420 consecutive open colectomies over 4 years. Patient demographics, surgical indications, intraoperative variables, and outcomes were collected. Two hundred twenty-three right colectomies (RCs) were compared with 197 left colectomies (LCs). RCs were more often required for cancer (111 vs 65, P < .001) and LCs for diverticular disease (10 vs 90, P < .001). LCs were more often performed emergently (36% vs 23%, P = .004) and required longer mean operative times (149 minutes vs 130 minutes, P = .004). Complications and mortality in the two groups were equal statistically. In the emergent colectomy subset, LCs were associated with greater intraoperative blood loss (315 vs 201 mL, P = .02) but fewer complications (11% vs 17%, P = .003). © 2007 Sage Publications.