A review of the endoscopy records of 100 consecutive patients with oesophageal strictures was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of endoscopic dilatation therapy. The follow-up period from presentation ranged from 6 to 72 (mean 39 months) and the symptom-free period after the last dilatation ranged from 3 to 66 months (mean 29 months). Three hundred and fifty procedures were performed with no perforations and minimal morbidity. Eighty-one patients who had been followed for at least 12 months since their last dilatation were free of significant dysphagia. Of these 81 patients, 77% became symptom-free within 1 year, and 88% within 2 years. Only 35 patients required more than three dilatations; 30 patients required one dilatation and 35 required two to three dilatations. Age, sex, the presence of Barrett's oesophagus, or the oesophageal lumen diameter at presentation was not significantly correlated with outcome.