Pancreatic fistula (PF) is the most frequent complication after distal pancreatectomy (DP). Prophylactic transpapillary pancreatic stenting (PTPS) has been proposed recently for the prevention of PF after DP. In this meta-analysis, a comprehensive search was performed in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases. Studies analyzing the results of PTPS in DP were considered eligible for this meta-analysis. The analyzed outcome variables included PF rate, postoperative morbidity, non-PF-related complications, mortality, operation duration, and hospital stay. Four studies with 200 patients were included in this review. Only one was a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The results showed that PTPS was associated with less PF formation (odds ratio, 0.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.22-0.94; P = 0.03) and shorter hospital stay (mean difference, - 6.31; 95% CI, - 6.99 to - 5.62; P < 0.00001). There was no significant difference in terms of the other variables. In conclusion, current evidence indicates that PTPS could reduce PF incidence and hospital stay after DP, without increasing other complications or operative time. However, the evidence is not solid, because the single RCT conflicted with the other three retrospective reports. Thus, considering the limitation, more well-designed RCTs on this topic are needed in the future. © 2013 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.