Placement of pancreatic stents is a relatively new and increasingly adopted approach to reduce the risk of post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) pancreatitis. Evidence for the efficacy of pancreatic stents in reducing post-ERCP pancreatitis continues to accumulate. Routine use of pancreatic stents in high-risk cases at advanced centers has changed the complexion of ERCP, reducing the incidence and severity of post-ERCP pancreatitis to a more acceptable level, and eliminating some of the fear factor surrounding previously prohibitively risky settings, such as treatment of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD). On the other hand, the adoption of prophylactic pancreatic stenting into some practices has been sporadic. Problems with pancreatic stent placement include technical difficulty with placement, need for follow-up evaluation to ensure passage or removal, and potential for inducing pancreatic ductal injury. There remain many challenges and unanswered questions which will be addressed in this review, including which patients are at risk for post-ERCP pancreatitis, how might pancreatic stents reduce risk, what is the evidence supporting efficacy of pancreatic stenting in reducing risk; and based on those data, which ERCPs are at sufficiently high risk to warrant a stent; at what point in an ERCP should a pancreatic stent be placed; how long pancreatic stents need to remain in place to be effective, the risk of inducing pancreatic duct injury by placement of a stent; the frequency and consequences of failure at attempted stent placement, and effectiveness of pancreatic stent placement in the hands of those with limited experience. Current recommendations for use of pancreatic stents and areas requiring further investigation are discussed.