Human cystic echinococcosis (CE) continues to be a major health problem in developing countries. A review of current literature discloses four alternatives for the management of active CE, consisting of surgery, percutaneous treatment (PT), chemotherapy, and follow-up without intervention, but no clear guidelines for directing patients to the different management options. Palliation of symptoms or prevention of complications is the main rationale for the treatment of CE. Surgery has long been considered as the gold standard treatment. However, a meta-analysis comparing the clinical outcomes of patients treated with PT with those of a control group treated with surgery found PT to be more effective, safer, and cheaper. Medical therapy is considered to be ineffective when the criterion of success is defined as the disappearance of the lesion. However, medical therapy seems to be effective when the goal of therapy is defined as the prevention of complications in asymptomatic patients. We propose an algorithm for therapy planning in CE where the first line of therapy for patients with active lesions is PT. Patients with lesions unsuitable for PT are directed to surgery if they are symptomatic, have complicated lesions or have lesions that are prone to rupture. Asymptomatic patients with uncomplicated lesions are directed to medical therapy. Medical therapy failures are redirected to surgery.