Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and the safety of the covered Wallstent, a commercially available silicone-covered, self-expandable metallic stent (covered Wallstent), for the treatment of distal malignant biliary obstruction. Methods Sixty-nine consecutive patients with unresectable distal malignant biliary obstruction who underwent covered Wallstent placement between October 2001 and October 2003 were studied at 4 affiliated hospitals. Results Mean stent patency and mean survival were 139.1 days and 200.9 days, respectively. Stent occlusion occurred in 7 cases (10.1%), but tumor ingrowth was not observed. Seventeen complications, including 5 cholangitis (7.2%), 4 stent migration (5.8%), 4 cholecystitis (5.8%), and 4 pancreatitis (5.8%) were observed in 16 patients (23.2%). Stent misplacement was observed in 7 patients (10.1%). Conclusions Covered Wallstent is effective in preventing tumor ingrowth for the treatment of distal malignant biliary obstruction. However, the overall complication rate may be higher than uncovered self-expanding metal stents and covered self-expanding metal stents of different design.