OBJECTIVES: The ileal pouch anal anastomosis is a safe and effective procedure but is also associated with pouchitis, small bowel obstruction, and incontinence, We prospectively evaluated the health-related quality of life using generic and disease-specific measures in a cohort of patients with ulcerative colitis undergoing ileal pouch anal anastomosis. METHODS: Health-related quality of life measures included the Time Trade-off, Rating Form of IBD Patient Concerns, and the Short-Form 36, Assessments occurred preoperatively and 1, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. RESULTS: Time Trade-off scores had significantly improved at the 1-month postoperative assessment and approached perfect health at the 12-month postoperative assessment. The Rating Form of IBD Patient Concerns revealed a significant reduction in patient concerns at 1 month, and this difference persisted at 6 and 12 months. Seven of the eight subscales of the Short-Form 36 revealed improved health-related quality of life postoperatively. CONCLUSIONS: Health-related quality of life improved after ileal pouch anal anastomosis when assessed with both generic and disease-specific measures. Improvements were observed as early as 1 month postoperatively. These results may guide patients and physicians as they consider and prepare for the impact of ileal pouch anal anastomosis. © 2001 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.