Objectives: To characterize the limitations of self-expandable stents in the management of benign tracheal stenosis, we performed a retrospective review at a tertiary care medical center. Methods: Patients who underwent tracheal stenting were assessed for the cause and severity of tracheal stenosis, comorbidities, stent-related complications, and follow-up airway procedures. Results: Sixteen adults (12 women, 4 men; mean age, 47 years) had a total of 26 stents placed for benign disease. Intubation-related stenoses were most frequent (81%). The average follow-up time was 20 months (range, 1 to 40 months). Each stent remained functional for an average of 12.4 months. In the study group, 87% had a complication that required surgical intervention to maintain a patent airway. The most common problem was granulation tissue formation at the ends of the stent causing airway restenosis (81%), and 5 patients (31%) required tracheotomy as a result of restenosis around the stent. Fourteen of the stents (56%) were removed or expelled from the patients. Conclusions: The implantation of self-expandable stents is a minimally invasive method of managing benign tracheal stenosis. Although a small subset of patients may benefit from placement, the majority of patients have complications that require intervention to maintain a patent airway. Thoughtful discretion is critical in selecting patients for this intervention. © 2006 Annals Publishing Company. All rights reserved.