Intestinal tuberculosis is a major problem in marry regions of the world. The incidence of it is rising in Western countries due to immigration from Third World countries and human immunodeficiency virus infection. The difference between the simple closure and resection and anastomosis was evaluated in this study. Retrospectively, 12 patients with intestinal tuberculosis diagnosed histopathologically among 50 patients with free intestinal perforations operated on between 1995 and 2003 at Turgut Ozal Medical Center were evaluated. Each patient underwent routine laboratory tests and radiologic studies. The most common symptoms of patients were abdominal pain, night sweats, and weight loss. Sites of perforation were ileum in 10 patients (multiple perforation in 4) and jejunum in 2 patients (both had multiple perforations). The perforation was closed by primary closure in 7 patients. Resection-anastomosis was performed in 5 patients. Leaks occurred in overall 3 of 7 patients with primary closure. Three of the 7 patients with leaks due to septicemia died. The mortality rate among all patients was 25%. Intestinal tuberculosis should be kept in mind as a cause in free intestinal perforations. Because of high mortality rate, the resection of the affected area and anastomosis may be the treatment of choice rather than primary closure. (c) 2005 The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.