Background Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) provides a new approach for patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma (HCCA). However, whether it can achieve similar outcomes to traditional open surgery (OS) remains controversial. Methods To assess the safety and feasibility of MIS for HCCA, a systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to compare the outcomes of MIS with OS. Seventeen outcomes were assessed. Results Nine studies involving 382 patients were included. MIS was comparable in blood transfusion rate, R0 resection rate, lymph nodes received, overall morbidity, severe morbidity (Clavien-Dindo classification = 3), bile leakage rate, wound infection rate, intra-abdominal infection rate, days until oral feeding, 1-year overall survival, 2-year overall survival and postoperative mortality with OS. Although operation time was longer (mean difference (MD) = 93.51, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 64.10 to 122.91, P Conclusions The safety and feasibility of MIS for HCCA is acceptable in selected patients. MIS is a remarkable alternative to OS for providing comparable outcomes associated with a benefit of minimal invasiveness and its application should be considered more.