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Intraluminal stenting of the small bowel has been advocated as a method of reducing the risk of recurrent adhesional obstruction in patients requiring adhesolysis. We reviewed the complications and efficacy of this technique in 25 patients undergoing surgery for relief of intestinal obstruction due to complex, extensive and dense adhesions. Five patients developed minor and three patients major complications. Three (13%) of 23 patients alive after mean follow-up of 4 years had had episodes of recurrent intestinal obstruction, but none had required reoperation. Intraluminal stenting remains of unproven efficacy. It may find a place as an adjunct to adhesolysis in patients requiring repeated operations for the relief of obstruction due to extensive and dense adhesions; but, in view of the high rate of complications, careful case selection will be necessary.