A technique for performing mucosal proctectomy in patients with ulcerative colitis using ultrasonic fragmentation is described. Twenty-eight patients undergoing colectomy and ileoanal anastomosis were studied. Removal of the mucosal layer of the distal rectum was performed using a titanium probe vibrating at 23 kHZ with an amplitude of 300 microns. This method produces complete mucosal destruction and the resulting debris and irrigating fluid is removed through the hollow central portion of the probe. Healing of the ileoanal anastomosis does not appear to be adversely affected by the use of this technique. Because ultrasonic fragmentation is not dependent on the integrity of the submucosal plane, it may be advantageous in those cases in which severe inflammation and submucosal scarring make manual dissection of the rectal mucosa difficult to perform.