© 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. Luminal perforations and anastomotic leaks of the gastrointestinal tract are life-threatening events with high morbidity and mortality. Early recognition and prompt therapy is essential for a favourable outcome. Surgery has long been considered the "gold standard" approach for these conditions; however it is associated with high re-intervention morbidity and mortality. The recent development of endoscopic techniques and devices to manage perforations, leaks and fistulae has made non-surgical treatment an attractive and reasonable alternative approach. Although endoscopic therapy is widely accepted, comparative data of the different techniques are still lacking. In this review we describe, benefits and limitations of the current options in the management of patients with perforations and leaks, in order to improve outcomes.