The aim of this paper was to evaluate the necessity of percutaneous transhepatic catheter drainage and balloon dilation procedures performed before stent insertion. One hundred and twenty-six patients with unresectable malignant biliary obstruction underwent palliative therapy by means of percutaneous transhepatic placement of 183 metallic biliary endoprotheses. Forty-four (35%) patients underwent metallic stent insertion in a one-stage procedure and 82 (65%) had undergone percutaneous transhepatic catheter drainage before stent insertion. Balloon dilation of the stenosis before stent placement (pre-dilation) was performed in 53 (42%) of 126 patients. The rate of the 30-day mortality was 11%, with no procedure-related deaths. The total rate of early complications was 29%, and 84% of these complications were due to percutaneous transhepatic catheter drainage and pre-dilation procedures. Percutaneous transhepatic catheter drainage and pre-dilation had no clinical or statistically significant effect on the patients' survival and stent patency rate. Percutaneous transhepatic catheter drainage and balloon dilation increased the cost of stent placement 18% and 19%, respectively. Palliation of malignant biliary obstruction with percutaneous transhepatic stent insertion should be done directly, in the simplest way, without performing percutaneous transhepatic catheter drainage and balloon dilation before stent placement. It is more useful, safe, and cost-effective.