OBJECTIVE To evaluate the clinical presentation and early and long-term outcomes of patients treated surgically for intraperitoneal ruptured liver hydatid cysts. METHODS The medical records of 21 patients with rupture of hydatid cysts were evaluated retrospectively between January 2000 and April 2009 at Izmir Ataturk Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey, as were the records of 368 patients with hydatid cysts. Age, gender, symptoms, laboratory findings, diagnostic procedures, surgical treatment modalities, in-hospital stay, morbidity, mortality, and recurrence were evaluated. RESULTS Sixteen of these patients (76.2%) were women. The mean age was 43.8 years. Cysts were single in 16 cases (76.2%). In 14 cases (66.7%) cysts were localized only in the right lobe. There was also a cyst in the spleen in 4 patients (19%). Simple falls or direct abdominal minor trauma was responsible in 8 patients (38.1%), and pedestrian mishaps in 4 (19%). Nine (42.8%) patients experienced spontaneous rupture. External drainage was performed in 12 (57.1%) patients and omentoplasty in 9 patients (42.8%) to manage the cyst cavity. A total of 11 morbidities developed in 9 patients (42.8%). There was no postoperative mortality. The mean hospital stay was 11.37.4 days, and mean follow-up was 63.131.3 months. The recurrence rate was 23.8%. CONCLUSION The morbidity and recurrence rates of surgical interventions for ruptured hydatid cysts are high. This pathology, although rare, should be included in the differential diagnosis of an acute abdomen in endemic areas.