Clinical Epidemiology (Oct 2016)

The Danish Ventral Hernia Database – a valuable tool for quality assessment and research

  • Helgstrand F,
  • Jorgensen LN

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 8
pp. 719 – 723


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Frederik Helgstrand,1 Lars Nannestad Jorgensen2 1Department of Surgery, Køge Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Køge, Denmark; 2Digestive Disease Center, Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen NV, Denmark Aim: The Danish Ventral Hernia Database (DVHD) provides national surveillance of current surgical practice and clinical postoperative outcomes. The intention is to reduce postoperative morbidity and hernia recurrence, evaluate new treatment strategies, and facilitate nationwide implementation of evidence-based treatment strategies. This paper describes the design and purpose of DVHD. Study population: Adult (≥18 years) patients with a Danish Civil Registration Number and undergoing surgery under elective or emergency conditions for ventral hernia in a Danish surgical department from 2007 and beyond. A total of 80% of all ventral hernia repairs performed in Denmark were reported to the DVHD. Main variables: Demographic data (age, sex, and center), detailed hernia description (eg, type, size, surgical priority), and technical aspects (open/laparoscopic and mesh related factors) related to the surgical repair are recorded. Data registration is mandatory. Data may be merged with other Danish health registries and information from patient questionnaires or clinical examinations. Descriptive data: More than 37,000 operations have been registered. Data have demonstrated high agreement with patient files. The data allow technical proposals for surgical improvement with special emphasis on reduced incidences of postoperative complications, hernia recurrence, and chronic pain. Conclusion: DVHD is a prospective and mandatory registration system for Danish surgeons. It has collected a high number of operations and is an excellent tool for observing changes over time, including adjustment of several confounders. This national database registry has impacted on clinical practice in Denmark and led to a high number of scientific publications in recent years. Keywords: database management system, registries, ventral hernia, outcome, national, morbidity