There is a controversy regarding the safety and efficacy of intracranial stenting. We describe our experience with primary balloon angioplasty without stenting for symptomatic middle cerebral artery (MCA) stenosis. All patients who underwent balloon angioplasty without stenting for MCA stenosis between 1996 and 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. We evaluated technical success rates, degrees of stenosis, and stroke or death within 30 days. Among patients who were followed-up for > 1 year we evaluated latest functional outcomes, stroke recurrence at 1 year, and restenosis. In total 45/47 patients (95.7%) were successfully treated. Average pre- and postprocedure stenosis rates were 79.9% and 39.5%, respectively. Three neurological complications occurred within 30 days: one thromboembolism during the procedure; one lacunar infarction; and one fatal intraparenchymal hemorrhage after the procedure. Stroke or death rate within 30 days was 6.4%. Thirty-three patients were available for follow-up analysis with a mean period of 51.5 months. The combined rate of stroke or death within 30 days and ipsilateral ischemic stroke of the followed-up patients within 1 year beyond 30 days was 9.4%. Restenosis was observed in 26.9% of patients and all remained asymptomatic. In our retrospective series, balloon angioplasty without stenting was a safe, effective modality for symptomatic MCA stenosis. For patients refractory to medical therapy, primary balloon angioplasty may offer a better supplemental treatment option.