PURPOSE: Outcome after ventral hernia repair is not optimal. The surgical technique relies on personal preferences or evidence from small-scale studies, rather than large-scale prospective data with high external validity. The purpose of this paper was to describe the establishment and potential of the Danish Ventral Hernia Database (DVHD). Furthermore, the first 2-year data from 2007 to 2008 are presented. METHODS: Registrations were based on surgeons' web registrations and validated by cross checking with data from the Danish National Patient Register. RESULTS: The DVHD was established in June 2006 and is based on prospective online web-registration of perioperative data, and individualised tracking of follow up data. During the first 2 years (2007-2008) data showed a large variation in almost all aspects of ventral hernia repair regarding surgical technique, use of open versus laparoscopic technique, use of mesh or no mesh, type of suture material, and placement of the mesh. A total of 5,629 elective and 661 acute ventral hernia repairs were registered. After the first 2 years the registration rate was 70%. CONCLUSION: The first national ventral hernia database has been established. Preliminary results call for large-scale prospective and randomised studies to improve outcomes. Overall, the DVHD may facilitate identification of surgical technical problems and contribute to improved outcomes. The initial registration rate of 70% is inadequate and initiatives have been undertaken to reach >95% of all hernia repairs as in the Danish Inguinal Hernia Database.