Our Team

Highly Qualified Expert Staff
Mr Murali Bhat
Consultant Surgeon
Mr Bhat is a renowned orthopaedic hand surgeon, with nearly three decades of specialised experience in orthopaedics and an overall 32 years in the medical field.
He has, in collaboration with his early mentor, published several important papers, which have successfully helped shape hand surgery practice around the world.

Practising in the UK as a consultant for over 15 years, he is a prominent medical tertiary expert in the field of wrist and hand surgery. Every patient under his care has found to his/her delight that Mr Bhat lives by a simple yet powerful maxim – “The best Surgeon is someone who knows when NOT to operate, WHEN to operate, and finally HOW to operate.”

He is passionate about his beliefs and has always reiterated that surgery is and always will be his last resort because that is the best recourse for his patients and involves the least risk. Whether he would have the same treatment himself, is the question he asks himself as an acid test, regarding every patient, every time.

The hand is one of the most complex and beautiful pieces of natural engineering in the human body and is a biomechanical marvel.
It allows us to manipulate tasks, both simple and complex, with great precision. This versatility and synchronicity is vital for us to conduct all aspects of our life with productivity and ease.

Mr Bhat is dedicated to his branch of surgery, successfully restoring the dexterity and alignment of these vital extremities.

The human hand and wrist is anatomically complex, made up of a total of 27 individual bones: 8 carpal bones, 5 metacarpal bones and 14 “finger bones” (also called phalanges). Joints and ligaments connect these bones.

These small and intricately designed bones in the hand align precisely to provide a full range of motion and precision. When one of the bones or ligaments is injured,
it can force the entire hand out of alignment.

With 27 years of experience in hand surgery, Mr Bhat has the experience and expertise to correctly diagnose at the very first consultation. After carefully listening and taking a holistic view from the detailed history, he helps them choose the best treatment option necessary for each patient – the best treatment with the least risks. He will discuss all the available treatment options available with their risks, consequences of those risks and benefits, so the best choice is well informed.

Among Mr Bhat’s many successful hand surgeries, is what he calls ‘The Magnificent 7’!

1) Carpal Tunnel Release
2) Fasciectomy for Dupuytren’s disease
3) Distal Radius fracture ORIF – 66 cases in the last two years. This number is probably a record, as no one else in the country does this many.
4) Trigger finger release
5) Trapeziectomy
6) Cubital Tunnel Release
7) Finger Fracture ORIF: 30 (this is probably a record too!)

The six components of motor skills related to fitness are agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time and speed.

All these have to function and work in concert and with precision.

This is precisely what Mr Bhat aims to restore to damaged hands.

Many musculoskeletal ailments are expertly carried out with steroid injections in the safety of his clinic with his hand therapist ably assisting him in the treatment and cure.

In his aesthetically appointed clinic, each patient is made to feel safe and comfortable, with Mr Bhat on hand, professional and reassuring, all questions answered. Each patient is personally assessed, detailed diagnosis made and the right line of treatment prescribed – for unparalleled results!

Undoubtedly, each patient will be dealt the best hand!

Consultant Orthopaedic and Upper Limb Surgeon, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust appointed 2005

Expertise: Hand surgery, wrist surgery, acute hand and upper limb trauma, post-traumatic hand and wrist reconstruction, distal radius fracture surgery, tendon transfer surgery, chronic wrist pain, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis surgery, joint replacements, arthroscopic wrist surgery including triangular fibrocartilage complex surgery, Dupuytren’s Surgery, sports injuries, carpal tunnel surgery, precision cortisone injection, joint fusion/arthrodesis, fractures, overuse injuries, dislocations, trigger finger surgery, repetitive strain injury, tendonitis, wrist pain, hand pain, elbow pain, shoulder pain, stiff joints, infections, musician’s hand problems, wrist instability, tumour surgery, Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow surgery, Cubital tunnel surgery, ulnar nerve compression, elbow replacement, bunion correction, hammer toe correction, arthritis of the big toe, Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis.

Hobbies and Interests– Badminton, Cricket, Golf, travelling, fine dining, watching plays, films and TV serials.

Trainer for Specialist Registrars, Foundation trainees, Trust Doctors, Undergraduates, General Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Radiographers, Orthopaedic Practitioners and Nurses.

Widely Presented– National and International Podium Presentations Refer to CV

Widely Published– National and International Publications Refer to CV

Trained others during the Covid-19crisis, when Virtual Clinics became the only way to deliver healthcare, 2019.

Advanced Lean Training(ALT) 2019, “Promoting Innovation” and “Mistake Proofing”

Championed Virtual Clinics in Surrey and Sussex following on from Toyota Production System (TPS).
Highlighted on the BBC “One Show” 15 October 2018.

Championed “Rooming In” following on from TPS to improve patient/staff satisfaction and capacity, 2018

Championed “Mistake Proofing” by implementing “Preference Sheets” as a checklist for standard surgical procedures before commencing surgery, 2018.

Lean for Leaders (L4L) 2017, TPS model in Healthcare successfully implemented and taught by the Virginia Mason Institute Seattle.

Examiner for the Hand Surgery Diploma 2017 to date

Medico-legal: Accredited Mediator 2014, Expert Medical reports for Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence since 2001, Expert Witness in Court since 2001

Senior Specialist Registrar Trauma and Orthopaedics. Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth.
Trained in Shoulder Surgery. 2003-2005

European Diploma in Hand Surgery EDHS 2003

Locum Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedics. Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital Chertsey UK  2002-2003

Hand Surgery National Fellowship. Queen’s Medical Centre Nottingham UK 2001-2002

Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery FRCS (T&O) 1999

Specialist Registrar training, Northern Ireland. Trauma and Orthopaedics. Overseas Doctors Training Scheme ODTS 1996-2000. Member of the team treating victims of the Omagh Bomb Blast stationed at Altnagelvin Area Hospital in 1998

Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, General Surgery FRCS1996

Lecturer in Trauma and Orthopaedics, Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research Kolar India 1993-1995

Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery training, TN Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital, Bombay, India MS1993
(Member of the team treating the victims of Hindu V Muslim Riots in Bombay 1992)

MS Thesis, Bombay University 1992 Wrist fracture management

Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery Examination, National Board of Examinations, New Delhi, India, Diplomate of National Board DNB Orth. 1992

Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery Examination, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Bombay, India, Diploma in Orthopaedics D.Orth.1991

Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh India (MD) Pathology 1989
(Member of the team dealing with continued Riots following Operation Blue Star)

Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India. ENT Gold Medal. MBBS 1988

Educated National High School and College, Bangalore, India 1977-82

Decorated Gymnast 1973-85

Born West Bengal, India 1965

Mr Bhat’s daughter Anjali is a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, Son Ashwin a Mathematics Masters student at Durham.

Dr. Claire Mearns

Mr Bhat’s Anaesthetic service is provided by Dr Claire Mearns. She works with a group of anaesthetists from the Surrey and Sussex Anaesthetic consortium www.sasanaesthetists.co.uk.  Claire is assisted by Dr Frederick Sage, from time to time. Both of them are experts at regional anaesthesia. Anaesthesia is an integral part of any operative procedure. When you have been scheduled for an operation you will be medically assessed and examined by the anaesthetist and the most suitable anaesthetic technique explained.
The operation may involve a general anaesthetic, local anaesthetic or a combination of both.

General anaesthetic
For a general anaesthetic, you will be given clear instructions before you come into the hospital about eating and drinking and what to do about your tablets if you are on any treatment. The anaesthetist will then see and medically assess you and tell you exactly what is going to happen, what to expect and what we are going to do to make sure you are as pain-free as possible after surgery.

Once you are in the theatre suite the anaesthetist will be with you from the time you come in through the doors to the time when you wake up.

During the operation, you will be anaesthetised using the most up to date anaesthetic techniques, agents, and equipment. Because of the close association between the anaesthetist and the surgical team, your anaesthesia and pain relief will be tailored to ensure a rapid recovery from the anaesthetic and for some procedures, this will frequently enable you to go home the same day. You are required to stay fasting for 6 hours, for such an anaesthetic.

Regional anaesthesia
It is possible by exact placement of special needles to anaesthetise with local anaesthetic just the nerves supplying various areas of the arm. Whether this method is used either with or without a general anaesthetic depends on various factors, which will be discussed with you. We encourage patients to have Regional anaesthesia, as the benefits are significant and risks are fewer than a general. You are required to stay fasting for 6 hours, for such an anaesthetic.

Local anaesthesia
Minor operations such as a carpal tunnel release, trigger finger release and removal of lumps and bumps in the finger can be elegantly performed under local anaesthesia. Local Anaesthesia is administered by Mr Bhat and does not require an anaesthetist, where It is possible to numb the specific site where a small cut needs to be made in the skin. You are NOT required to stay fasting, for such an anaesthetic.

Final Important point
If you have been seen in the clinic and scheduled for surgery and are worried by any aspects of the anaesthesia, no matter how unusual, you can always talk directly to the anaesthetist by contacting the Anaesthetic secretary, Sarah Edwards, who is also Mr Bhat’s Secretary! (07917 145679 and office@sasanaesthetists.co.uk).

Mrs Isobel Heppenstall
Hand Therapist

Isobel Heppenstall qualified as a physiotherapist in 2000 at King’s College London. She gained her hand experience in the National Health Service where she held a number of senior posts. She has been a member of the British Association of Hand Therapists since 2003. Further details can be found at www.nutwoodtherapies.co.uk.

Isobel works directly with Mr Bhat and his team to enable patients to gain the maximum benefit from surgery with the minimum of swelling, pain, and stiffness.

Isobel deals with all aspects of hand injuries and surgery. Physiotherapy is offered in all of the following settings:

  • Hand Clinic for initial assessment.
  • Pre-operatively.
  • Post-operatively.
  • Outpatient Physiotherapy.
  • Advice and education
  • Specific exercise programs
  • Mobilisation of joints and soft tissues
  • Electrotherapy for reduction of swelling and pain
  • Splintage
  • Scar Management

Isobel is Self Employed and offers to treat Mr Bhat’s patients from various locations to suit patients from different geographical areas. She runs a hand therapy service at her practice in Brockham, where she can see patients flexibly. She also sees patients at Gatwick Park Hospital.
Isobel’s team includes Fiona Threlfell and Bettine Seaward, all highly skilled hand therapists. In the NHS, the hand therapists are Joanne White or Mary Calvey.
Physiotherapy for hand conditions is always aimed at making the hand as fully functional, pain-free and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Hand therapists have a wide experience in assessing problems and deciding on the priorities of treatment.

Treatment involves the following:

For some hand conditions, splints are required to achieve the best result.
We use two types of splint:
Pre-made splints, such as wrist supports and finger supports, are ordered from medical suppliers.
Custom-made splints are produced within our department. Thermoplastic materials are used which can be heated and moulded to allow an accurate fit. These can then be remodeled as necessary. In some cases, there is a small charge for splints.