Background: Continent ileostomy (CI) after proctocolectomy is an alternative technique compared to an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). The question arises as to whether this technique is valuable. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the continent ileostomy, by patient follow-up satisfaction and quality of life assessment. Method: Twenty-eight patients with a continent ileostomy operated between 1996 and 2007 were compared with patients who received an IPAA or a conventional ileostomy. SF-36 and EORTC QLC-CR38 questionnaires and a specific continent ileostomy questionnaire were used to assess differences and patient satisfaction. Results: The quality of life in patients with a CI is not significant better or worse than patients with either a conventional ileostomy or an IPAA. On three scales (sexual enjoyment, gastro-intestinal tract symptoms and male sexual problems) statistically significant differences were reported. Overall, nearly all patients are very satisfied with the CI. All patients would make the same decision again and would recommend this procedure to other patients. Conclusion: The continent ileostomy remains to be a suitable alternative for the preservation of continence after a proctocolectomy, especially when an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis is not an option. If a choice has to be made between a CI and conventional ileostomy good preoperative counselling is necessary to make a well founded decision. To minimize complications, these procedures have to be performed in centres with specific expertise. Therefore, knowledge about the CI should be preserved for the future.