PURPOSE: (1) To assess the outcomes of minimally invasive simple prostatectomy (MISP) for the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia in men with large prostates and (2) to compare them with open simple prostatectomy (OSP). METHODS: A systematic review of outcomes of MISP for benign prostatic hyperplasia with meta-analysis was conducted. The article selection process was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. RESULTS: Twenty-seven observational studies with 764 patients were analyzed. The mean prostate volume was 113.5 ml (95 % CI 106-121). The mean increase in Qmax was 14.3 ml/s (95 % CI 13.1-15.6), and the mean improvement in IPSS was 17.2 (95 % CI 15.2-19.2). Mean duration of operation was 141 min (95 % CI 124-159), and the mean intraoperative blood loss was 284 ml (95 % CI 243-325). One hundred and four patients (13.6 %) developed a surgical complication. In comparative studies, length of hospital stay (WMD -1.6 days, p = 0.02), length of catheter use (WMD -1.3 days, p = 0.04) and estimated blood loss (WMD -187 ml, p = 0.015) were significantly lower in the MISP group, while the duration of operation was longer than in OSP (WMD 37.8 min, p < 0.0001). There were no differences in improvements in Qmax, IPSS and perioperative complications between both procedures. The small study sizes, publication bias, lack of systematic complication reporting and short follow-up are limitations. CONCLUSIONS: MISP seems an effective and safe treatment option. It provides similar improvements in Qmax and IPSS as OSP. Despite taking longer, it results in less blood loss and shorter hospital stay. Prospective randomized studies comparing OSP, MISP and laser enucleation are needed to define the standard surgical treatment for large prostates.