Bladder augmentation has a role in the management of patients with neuropathic bladder dysfunction and in urinary undiversion. Several reports attest to its clinical value, but there have been few detailed urodynamic studies of its effects. We have carried out a prospective review over a 4-year period of 25 patients undergoing bladder augmentation or substitution assessed by conventional and ambulatory urodynamic studies. All patients had a detubularised reservoir made of ileum in 6, and of the ileocaecal segment in the remainder. Six patients also had an artificial sphincter fitted and 2 underwent colposuspension. There was no mortality. After operation, bladder capacity increased from 122 +/- 91 ml to 659 +/- 431 ml and there were significant decreases in the pressure rise during filling and increases in bladder compliance. Hyper-reflexia was present in 74% before operation and 23% after operation. Regular phasic activity was observed in 77% of patients at the end of filling after operation, probably due to bowel activity despite detubularisation. Four patients described urge incontinence associated with this activity. After operation, one man had persistent major stress incontinence. He has since undergone insertion of an artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) and is now completely dry. Of the remainder, 10 patients had minor, infrequent defects in continence, 9 patients with leakage when the bladder was full and 4 with occasional leakage at night. With the exception of the patient with major stress incontinence, all but one felt the operation had been worthwhile--40% reporting complete success and 52% excellent improvement. Reconstruction of the neuropathic lower urinary tract is a major surgical procedure, but the final clinical outcome is very satisfactory.