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Bard Announces New Technology To Revolutionize Umbilical Hernia Repair

MURRAY HILL, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 3, 2003--C. R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) today announced the introduction of the Ventralex(TM) hernia patch, a simplified intra-abdominal umbilical hernia repair technology characterized by minimal suturing, small incisions and potentially fast recovery times.

The product was developed and is marketed by Bard's Davol, Inc. subsidiary, located in Cranston, Rhode Island.

More than 150,000 people in the U.S. seek treatment for umbilical hernias each year, many caused by pregnancy, childbirth, a congenital defect or ruptured incisions from a prior surgery. The traditional method of repairing a hernia in the "belly button" area is to use sutures to close the tear in the abdomen; this type of repair has a recurrence rate of 11 percent. According to a 2001 study published in the British Journal of Medicine, however, the use of mesh in an umbilical hernia repair reduces the rate of recurrence to 1 percent.

The Ventralex hernia patch, invented by Bard, is composed of a round patch with a long tail or strap, which facilitates the placement, positioning and suturing of the device in place. On one side of the patch is a polypropylene mesh, which encourages tissue growth into the abdominal muscle and, on the other side, an ePTFE layer that minimizes adhesions to the prosthesis. The Ventralex hernia patch also features a memory recoil ring that allows the patch to lie flat in the intra-abdominal space.

Bard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, William H. Longfield, said, "The Ventralex hernia patch is an excellent addition to Bard's growing ventral hernia portfolio. When added to Composix E/X Mesh, Composix Kugel Patch and Dulex Mesh, we can now offer the general surgeon an entire family of devices for the treatment of abdominal hernias, further strengthening our leadership position in the area of soft tissue repair."

C. R. Bard, Inc., (www.crbard.com), headquartered in Murray Hill, New Jersey, is a leading multinational developer, manufacturer and marketer of health care products in the fields of vascular, urology, oncology and surgical specialty products.

Editors Please Note: For additional information about the Ventralex hernia patch, surgeons may call 800-566-6756 or visit www.davol.com for more information about Davol's surgical ventral hernia line. Consumers may visit www.hernia.com for more general information about hernias and hernia repair techniques.

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CONTACT: C. R. Bard Inc., Murray Hill
Media Relations:
Holly P. Glass, 703/754-2848
Investor Relations:
Todd C. Schermerhorn, 908/277-8139





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Primary Media Relations Contact

Scott Lowry
Vice President and Treasurer
C. R. Bard, Inc.
730 Central Avenue
Murray Hill, NJ 07974

Tel: 908-277-8365