The use of self-expanding metal stents can markedly improve the care of patients with inoperable oesophageal malignancy. The stents can be easily introduced without the need for general anaesthesia. They have fewer complications during insertion than rigid stents and fewer complications than laser therapy. With these stents lumens of up to 2.5 cm are easily obtainable. The article considers the type of patient who may be suitable for stenting, the technique of insertion, benefits and complications of their use.