The objective of this study was to describe the context, procedural outcome and long-term results of contemporary small vessel (SV) coronary artery stenting. It was set in a tertiary cardiology centre. The study was designed as a retrospective analysis of the procedural and long-term results in a consecutive series of patients undergoing implantation of an SV stent (defined as < 2.5 mm) in 1999–2000. Of the 1,130 percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) in the study period, 138 (12%) involved placement of SV stents. Of these interventions 58% consisted of SV stents as sole treatment. Some 69% of patients were male and their mean age was 58 years; 46% were hypertensive, 13% diabetic, 84% hypercholesterolaemic and 18% were smokers. Of these patients 54% were in anginal classes III and IV. Of the SV stents fitted, 94% were 2.5 mm and 6% were 2.0 mm. 75% of SV stents were implanted in main epicardial vessels. The mean follow-up for these patients was 17 months. Long-term symptomatic benefit was achieved in 76%. The major adverse cardiac events (MACE) rate was 15%, comprising 1% acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and 14% re-PCI. There were no deaths. In conclusion, SV stenting in the modern era, in an unselected series of patients, is performed in 12% of PCI procedures. It comprises the sole treatment in 58% of these interventions. The majority of SV stents are 2.5 mm and are placed in main coronary arteries. Procedural and long-term results are excellent. These data may inform the choice of treatment for patients with SV disease and may be useful in planning studies in stenting SVs.