Postinflammatory and posttraumatic urethral strictures present a significant clinical problem. Conventional dilatation techniques are usually associated with recurrence and aggravation of the strictures. This is attributed to the mucosal and periurethral trauma associated with conventional dilatation methods. The initial results in seven patients undergoing balloon dilatation for urethral strictures are presented. The method is relatively atraumatic and painless, and better long-term results are anticipated. © 1981 Springer-Verlag.