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Context Primary pancreatic hydatid disease is rare and there have only been a few cases of recurrent acute pancreatitis due to a hydatid cyst of the pancreas. Case report We describe a case of recurrent acute pancreatitis in which the definitive diagnosis of hydatid cyst of the pancreatic head was only made during a repeat operation and the patient subsequently underwent total pericystectomy. Conclusion A hydatid cyst of the pancreas is an extremely rare condition but it may be a causative factor for recurrent acute pancreatitis, especially in endemic areas. In this case, pericystectomy might be the procedure of choice in order to release the pressure.