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June is National Hernia Awareness Month; Innovative, Minimally Invasive Technique Speeds Procedure and Recovery Time

MURRAY HILL, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 1, 2004--Nearly five million Americans suffer from hernias, yet only 700 thousand seek treatment each year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Many physicians believe hundreds of thousands of people avoid hernia treatment because they fear the pain and long recovery period once associated with hernia repair. But today's hernia repair is not your father's hernia operation, according to Davol, Inc., a C. R. Bard, Inc., subsidiary (BCR:NYSE).

The majority of hernias occur in the groin area where a piece of the intestine protrudes through a weakened or torn abdominal wall. Patients may notice a bulge in the groin or abdominal area that won't go away with exercise or weight loss, and can become serious if left untreated. Hernias can be repaired only through surgery. Yet new advances in technology and techniques enable physicians to treat hernia patients quickly, on an outpatient basis, with minimal pain and a short recuperation period. Some techniques only necessitate use of local anesthesia and a small incision, so patients can resume normal activities in just days.

Hernia repair procedures using a tension-free technique help eliminate the strain on surrounding muscles and ligaments, reducing postoperative pain as compared to traditional tissue-to-tissue techniques. Tension-free repair procedures using the Bard(R) Kugel(R) Patch, Bard(R) PerFix(R) Plug, and Bard(R) Modified Kugel(R) Patch last about 25 minutes, and patients usually walk out of the treatment facility within one to two hours. Because this technique reduces the pain associated with recovery, the vast majority of patients resume normal, everyday activities quickly, often within a day or two of surgery.

For National Hernia Awareness Month this June, Davol encourages people who suspect they have a hernia to see their doctor and log onto www.herniainfo.com or call 1-800-HERNIAS. Davol's mesh has been shown to create an outstanding surgical repair with less than a one percent chance of recurring. The Bard Mesh hernia product line has been called "one of the most significant advances in groin hernia repairs in the past twenty years," and continues to be the gold standard by which all others are compared.

C. R. Bard (www.crbard.com), headquartered in Murray Hill, New Jersey, is a leading multinational developer, manufacturer, and marketer of innovative, life-enhancing medical technologies in the fields of vascular, urology, oncology, and surgical specialty products.

Davol, Inc., a C.R. Bard subsidiary, will train more than 3000 surgeons this year alone on various hernia repair techniques.

Editors, please note: The www.herniainfo.com website also provides consumers an opportunity to receive answers to their questions by a hernia repair surgeon.

CONTACT:
For C. R. Bard, Inc.
Media Relations:
Holly P. Glass, 703-754-2848
or
Investor Relations:
Eric J. Shick, 908-277-8413


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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