BACKGROUND: Surgery is often advocated in patients with resectable pulmonary metastases from colorectal cancer (CRC). Our study aims to evaluate peri-operative chemotherapy in patients with metastastic CRC undergoing pulmonary metastasectomy. METHODS: Patients treated for CRC who underwent pulmonary metastasectomy by a single surgeon were identified. Outcome measures included survival, peri-operative complications, radiological and histological evidence of chemotherapy-induced lung toxicities. RESULTS: Between 1997 and 2009, 51 eligible patients were identified undergoing a total of 72 pulmonary resections. Thirty-eight patients received peri-operative chemotherapy, of whom 9 received an additional biological agent. Five-year overall survival rate was 72% in the whole cohort - 74% and 68% in those who received peri-operative chemotherapy (CS) and those who underwent surgery alone (S) respectively. Five-year relapse free survival rate was 31% in the whole cohort - 38% and ≤18% in CS and S groups respectively. Only 8% had disease progression during neoadjuvant chemotherapy. There were no post-operative deaths. Surgical complications occurred in only 4% of patients who received pre-operative chemotherapy. There was neither radiological nor histological evidence of lung toxicity in resected surgical specimens. CONCLUSIONS: Peri-operative chemotherapy can be safely delivered to CRC patients undergoing pulmonary metastasectomy. Survival in this selected group of patients was favourable.