Four hundred and four patients operated for ventral hernia during a five year period were reviewed with special emphasis on morbidity, mortality and number of days in hospital. The patients were divided into 357 patients who had been operated for ventral hernia only once (A) and 47 patients who had been operated more than once for ventral hernia (B). There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding to ages or preoperative condition. The postoperative complications were 21% in group A and 12% in group B, although this was not statistically significant. Of those who suffered a complication after the operation, 76% had a competing illness prior to the operation. The overall mortality was 0.5%. The patients were hospitalized for a total of 4846 days. In view of the results of this material and of the high recurrence rate demonstrated in the literature, a restrictive attitude towards operations for ventral hernia is recommended.