Endoscopic laser therapy for malignant esophageal obstruction is rapidly gaining widespread acceptance by the medical community. The standard approach utilizing the neodymium: yttrium, aluminum, garnet (Nd: YAG) laser was first described by Fleischer for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus and subsequently for adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction. According to his technique, treatment was begun at the proximal tumor margin and proceeded distally; as many as 13 treatments were necessary to complete therapy and relieve the obstruction. A new technique has been developed utilizing tumor dilatation so that treatment can be started at the distal tumor margin working retrogradely. This new technique has allowed treatment to be completed in a single session in most patients. This rapid completion of therapy has reduced the length of hospitalization and thereby hospital costs. It has also allowed patients to aliment earlier, thereby minimizing the metabolic consequences of prolonged intravenous feedings, has allowed patients to receive other forms of therapy on an outpatient basis, and has obviated the need for the chronic placement of tubes for drainage and feeding. The technique is described and discussed.