AIM Benign stenosis of the lower gastrointestinal tract usually develops, due to complication of a surgical intervention or sometimes because of other inflammatory bowel processes. Their reoperation is technically difficult and risky. Therefore the authors use a balloon catheter dilatation in the treatment of lower gastrointestinal tract stenosis since 1985. METHODS First a guide wire is passed colonoscopically, then under X-ray control a double lumen balloon catheter, or directly through the channel of the endoscope a single or double lumen balloon catheter is introduced into the stenosis, which is then gradually dilated to 12-25 mm diameter. The applied pressure is 1.5-3 atm. Result of the dilatation can be judged from the decreased indentation of the balloon, and from increased diameter of stenosis at colonoscopic, or sometimes colonographic follow up. RESULTS Between January of 1985 and July of 2001 they performed 123 dilatation on 52 patients. The causes of stenoses were in 40 cases postoperative stenosis, in 5 Crohn disease, in 2 ulcerative colitis, in 1 ischemic stenosis, and in 3 scar of the anus. From all stenosis cases 4 were localised to the anus, 40 to the rectum, 7 to the colon, and 1 to the terminal ileum. Due to the dilatation the average diameter of the stenosis was increased from 7.2 (1-14) mm to 19.7 (14-25) mm. Following the dilatation in 42 patients out of 52 the colonoscope was passed through the stenosis. Colostomies were closed in 11 cases out of 17. In 4 patients the subileus state ceased, and all of our 3 patients colo-cutan fistula healed rapidly. 16 out of 52 patients re-operation was proposed. One patient had fever as complication which was treated with antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS Dilatation of benign stenosis of the lower gastrointestinal tract with balloon catheter is an effective method, which in most of the cases (69%) will stop the obstructive symptoms and in the long run therefore surgery can be avoided.