Background: As an alternative to more radical abdominal surgery, transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) offers a minimally invasive solution for the excision of certain rectal polyps and early-stage rectal tumours. The patient benefits of TEM as compared to radical abdominal surgery are clear; nevertheless, some drawback is possible. The aim of our study was to determine the risk factors, treatment and outcomes of rectal stenosis following TEM. Methods: We analysed a series of 354 consecutive patients who underwent TEM for benign or malignant rectal tumours between 1997 and 2009. We recorded the maximum histological diameter of the lesion, and whether the lesion was circumferential. Rectal stenosis was defined as a rectal narrowing not allowing passage of a 12 mm sigmoidoscope. Results: Histological results with a measured specimen diameter were available in 304 of the 354 cases. There were 11 stenoses in total (3.6%), 7 stenoses due to 9 circumferential lesions (78%) and 4 due to lesions with a maximum diameter ≥5 cm (3.2%). Two patients presented as emergencies, and the other 9 patients reported symptoms of increased stool frequency at follow-up. Three of the stenoses were associated with recurrent disease. All stenoses were treated by a combination of endoscopic/radiological balloon dilatation or surgically with Hegar's dilators. A median of two procedures were required to treat stenoses until resolution of symptoms. Conclusions: Rectal stenosis following TEM excision is rare. It is predictable in patients with circumferential lesions but is rare in patients with non-circumferential lesions with a maximum diameter ≥5 cm. It is effectively treated with surgical or balloon dilatation. Most patients require repeated treatments. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.