During the past years several endoscopic and interventional techniques have been developed for the treatment of bile duct strictures and have had a strong impact on therapeutic regimens. Benign stenoses of the bile duct are mainly caused by cholecystectomy or liver resection or by inflammatory diseases. Insertion of an endoprosthesis insertion or balloon dilation is clinically successful in 60 to 90 % of these patients and will result in adequate opening of the stricture. To date, only bile duct stenosis in chronic pancreatitis are not improved satisfactorily by endoscopy. The insertion of an endoprosthesis is a cornerstone in the treatment of malignant obstructive jaundice in patients with cancer. Several comparative studies have demonstrated the advantages of self-expanding metal stents (SEMS) over plastic prostheses in terms of patency. A selective use of SEMS is mandatory, as the costs for SEMS are high and many patients with malignant jaundice will die with their first plastic prosthesis in situ without stent occlusion. In patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma, the combination of photodynamic therapy and endoprosthesis insertion might result in a survival advantage. The use of bioabsorbable stent materials or coating of the stent with antiproliferative drugs will improve the treatment results in the future.