BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of colorectal stenting with that of performing emergency operation for the patients with malignant left-sided colon obstruction. METHODS: The patients with obstructing left-sided colorectal cancer were treated with 'bridge to surgery stenting' and this was followed by operation (group A, n=20), emergency operation (group B, n=21), palliative stenting (group C, n=16), and emergency palliative operation (group D, n=15). RESULTS: The primary anastomosis rate was significantly higher for group A than for group B (65.0 vs. 33.3%, respectively, p<0.05). None of the patients in group A required intensive care and 3 patients in group B required intensive care. Post-operative complications occurred in 2 and 3 patients in group A and B, respectively. The mean hospital stay showed the tendency to be shorter for group A than for group B (24 vs. 31 days, respectively, p>0.05). In regard to palliative treatment, the stoma creation rate was 86.7% for group D, and 2 patients in group D needed intensive care. The mean hospital stay was significantly shorter for group C than for group D (9.3 vs. 20.7 days, respectively, p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Stent placement is a useful alternative to emergency surgery for the management of malignant colorectal obstruction.