Background: We sought to provide a meta-analysis and credibility assessment of available randomized controlled trials and propensity score matched studies when assessing early and oncologic outcomes of laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy compared with open distal pancreatectomy. Methods: The MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases were searched for pertinent literature up to June 2022. Random-effect meta-analyses were applied. Trial sequential analysis was applied to verify whether results were true- or false-positive or -negative findings. Results: Thirteen studies were identified (2 randomized controlled trials and 11 propensity score matched studies). The early outcomes were assessed on 12 studies, including 4,346 patients. In this population, laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy decreased postoperative stay (mean difference = 1.8 days; P = .001) and estimated blood loss (mean difference = 148 mL; P = .001), and trial sequential analysis confirmed these as true-positive findings. Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy and open distal pancreatectomy had similar operating times (P = .165), and trial sequential analysis confirmed this as a true-negative finding. Major morbidity, mortality, and readmission were similar, but results were inconclusive by trial sequential analysis. Oncologic outcomes were assessed on 5 studies, including 2,430 patients. In this population, laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy showed higher R0 resection rate (OR = 1.46; P = .001) and shorter time to adjuvant therapy (mean difference 4.0 days P = .003). A survival benefit was observed at 1 year after laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (OR = 1.45; P = .001), which was not confirmed at 3 years (P = .650). Conclusion: Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy is superior to open distal pancreatectomy for most of the early outcomes analyzed. The operating time was equalized as a result of the learning curve. Results from patients with pancreatic cancer suggest at least an oncologic noninferiority of laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy compared with open distal pancreatectomy.
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