The incidence of tuberculosis is rising in the United States. Similarly, the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis in Taiwan is increasing, but that of large bowel tuberculosis in this region has not been reported. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changing disease pattern and to determine some possible surgical prognostic factors for large bowel tuberculosis. Seventy cases of large bowel tuberculosis treated at our institute during the period 1965-1995 were reviewed and analyzed. A steady decline in the case number of large bowel tuberculosis were noted from 1975, but there seems to be a slight increase in cases since 1990. The average age of these patients was 65.1 years, and none had human immunodeficiency virus infection. The ileocecum is the must common region of involvement. Of these 70 patients, 59 had not been definitively diagnosed until surgery. Active pulmonary tuberculosis was found in 18 patients (25.7%). The incidence of postoperative pulmonary complications was higher in patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis or disseminating large bowel tuberculosis. Postoperative abdominal complications, including intestinal obstruction, abdominal cutaneous fistula, and wound infection, were seen in 13 patients, none of whom had active pulmonary tuberculosis. Although the incidence of tuberculosis has been reduced for years, it is now rising. Physicians should bear in mind the possibility of large bowel tuberculosis in patients with intestinal obstruction without specific origin. Postoperative respiratory care is important for patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, with either active or disseminating lesions.