PURPOSE: The purpose of this retrospective study was to assess complications, voiding patterns, and quality of life in patients with an orthotopic bladder substitution, using an N-shaped ileal neobladder. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between May 1996 and December 2002, 58 patients (52 men and 6 women) underwent an orthotopic ileal neobladder reconstruction after radical cystectomy. The mean age was 47 for the female and 60 for the male patients. In all patients an N-shaped ileal pouch was constructed. This pouch has not yet been described in the literature before. All procedures were performed by the same surgeon (HVP) and the mean follow-up was 38 months. Complications were registered as early (occurring within 3 months) or late (occurring after 3 months), and as pouch-related and non-pouch-related. The patients took part in a pelvic floor re-education programme for as long as they were incontinent. All patients completed a retrospective Quality of Life questionnaire, based on the QLQ-C30 questionnaire, which was validated by the EORTC's Study Group on Quality of Life. RESULTS: In 38% of the patients, early complications occurred, whereas 48% had late complications. The most frequent early complications were diarrhea (24%) and pyelonephritis (9%). Diarrhea was again the most frequently mentioned non-pouch-related complication (19%). The most frequently observed pouch-related late complication was ileo-urethral stenosis. This occurred in five patients. All of these 5 patients were re-operated using a minimally invasive approach. Daytime continence was achieved in 95% of patients and nighttime continence in 66%. Hyper-continence with subsequent need for CISC was observed in 5 out of 6 women (83%) and 0 out of 52 men (0%). The retrospective QoL questionnaire learned that the impact of bladder removal and orthotopic bladder substitution has acceptable impact on patient's everyday life. Diarrhea was mentioned as being the most discomforting complication by most of the patients. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a modified orthotopic ileal neobladder: the ileal N-pouch. The functional results with this pouch are good. Complication rates and QoL are comparable with the larger series published by other authors, using different ileal neobladder reconstructions.