background: expandable metal stents can be used as a palliative or pre surgical method to decompress obstructing colonic carcinomas. aim: to assess the effectiveness of these stents in the treatment of obstructive colonic carcinoma. patients and methods: expandable metal stents were placed in nine patients with the diagnosis of colorectal carcinoma and with clinical and radiographic signs of intestinal obstruction. stents were placed under fluoroscopic guidance in nine patients and with endoscopic help in 2. the indications were palliative treatment in 7 and pre surgical decompression in 2 patients. results: stent placement was successful in all patients. one patient presented a self limited rectal bleeding after the procedure. obstruction was relieved in less than 24 hours after the procedure. conclusion: expandable metal stent placement is an effective means of relieving intestinal obstruction caused by colorectal carcinoma.