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Currently, laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy is regarded as a safe and effective surgical approach for lesions in the body and tail of the pancreas. This review examined the evidence from published data of comparative studies of laparoscopic versus open distal pancreatectomy of nonductal adenocarcinomatous pancreatic tumor in pancreatic body and tail.A systematic review of the studies comparing laparoscopic and open distal pancreatectomy was conducted. Comparative studies published between January 1996 and June 2016 were included. Studies were selected on the basis of specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. These 2 techniques were compared regarding several outcomes of interest, which were divided into preoperative, operative, postoperative, and pathologic characteristics, postoperative biomarker, and hospital stay cost. Sensitivity and subgroup analysis partially confirmed the robustness of these data.Ten comparative case-control studies involving 712 patients (53.7% laparoscopic and 46.3% open), who underwent a distal pancreatectomy were included. The results favored laparoscopy with regard to intraoperative blood loss (P=0.0001), the rate of blood transfusion (P=0.02), total hospital stay (P=0.004), postoperative hospital stay (P<0.0001), overall morbidity (P=0.0002), the rate of wound infection (P=0.05), time to initial feeds (P<0.0001), first flatus time (P=0.008), duration of pain-killer intake (P=0.0003), and C-reactive protein on postoperative day 1 (P=<0.0001). In the subgroup analysis, excluding western country studies, operation time changed to have a statistically significant difference between these 2 groups (P=0.02).Laparoscopic resection results in improved operative and postoperative outcomes compared with open surgery according to the results of the present meta-analysis. It may be a safe and feasible option for nonductal adenocarcinomatous pancreatic tumor patients in pancreatic body and tail. However, randomized controlled trials should be undertaken to confirm the relevance of these findings.