This study evaluated and compared the donor site morbidity following minimally invasive and conventional open harvesting of iliac bone for secondary alveolar bone grafting in cleft palate patients. A thorough electronic search of PubMed, Google Scholar, EMBASE, and an institutional library and manual search of various journals was done; Inclusion criteria: 1) full-text articles using a minimally invasive or conventional open harvesting technique for iliac bone for secondary alveolar grafting in cleft palate patients and 2) articles published between January 1, 2001 and June 30, 2017 and Exclusion criteria: 1) articles published in languages other than English, 2) case reports, case series, animal studies, in vitro studies, and letters to the editor, and 3) full-text article unavailable even after writing to the authors. Preliminary screening of 274 studies excluded 223 studies for not meeting the eligibility criteria. Of the remaining 51 studies, 19 were removed for being duplicates. Of the remaining 32 studies, 15 were excluded after reading the abstract. Of the 17 studies that were left, 2 were excluded because they were in a language other than English, and 2 were excluded because the study group did not mention cleft palate patients. Thus, 13 studies providing results for a total of 654 patients were included in this qualitative synthesis. Minimally invasive bone graft harvest techniques are better than the conventional open iliac bone harvest method because they offer shorter operative time, decreased requirement for pain medications, less pain on discharge, and a shorter hospital stay.