Standardized mortality rates in ulcerative colitis (UC) are no different than that in the general population. Patients who are older and have more comorbidities have increased mortality. Emergent colectomy still carries 30-day mortality rates of approximately 5%. In more recent studies, UC surgery rates at 10 years from diagnosis are nearly 3% in Hungary, <10% in referral center studies from Asia, approximately 10% in Norway, the European Cohort Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Manitoba, Canada, and nearly 17% in Olmsted County, Minnesota. These rates are for the most part lower than reported colectomy rates from studies completed before 1990. Short-term colectomy rates in severe hospitalized UC have remained stable at 27% for several years. Generally, children seem to have higher rates of extensive colitis at diagnosis than adults. There also seems to be higher rates of colectomy in children than in adults (i.e., at least 20% at 10 years), and perhaps, this reflects a higher rate of extensive disease. Acute severe colitis in patients with UC still represents a condition with a high early colectomy rate and a measurable mortality rate.