- Our hypothesis was that the canine ileocolonic sphincter (ICS), per se, would have little regulatory effect on the transit of chyme from ileum to colon. We argued, from earlier observations, that the ileocolonic junction was influenced more by functional motor integration of the ileum, ICS, and proximal colon. In five dogs, the ileocolonic sphincter was ablated by extramucosal sphincterotomy; the operation significantly lowered tonic pressures at the ICS. Animals were then studied in the fasting state and postprandially. Ileal flow was estimated by marker dilution, and ileocolonic flow was estimated by total recovery of chyme from a colonic cannula. Transit times were measured after the bolus infusion of nonabsorbable markers. Ileocolonic sphincterotomy did not significantly alter flow rates or transit times of chyme across the ICS, although ileal motor patterns were changed after sphincterotomy. We concluded that the ICS probably has only a small effect on transit and flow at the ileocolonic junction. These findings argue for the importance of integrated motility of the ileum, ICS, and proximal colon in controlling the flow of chyme in this region.