|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 111-114
Professor Ravi Bhatia: An Epitome of Excellence
Sudheer Kumar Tyagi
Department of Neurosurgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, India
|Date of Submission||28-Mar-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||30-Mar-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||30-May-2022|
Sudheer Kumar Tyagi
Department of Neurosurgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Tyagi SK. Professor Ravi Bhatia: An Epitome of Excellence. J Spinal Surg 2022;9:111-4
Prof. Ravi Bhatia is an ex-Head of Department of Neurosurgey, AIIMS, New Delhi, and currently working as Emeritus Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, India. Prof Bhatia belongs to a rare breed of neurosurgeons endowed with excellent clinical acumen and a questioning mind. His career as a neurological surgeon and scientist is studded with incidents and anecdotes where he has crossed each obstacle that lay in his path.
| Family and Background|| |
Prof. Ravi Bhatia was born in London U. K in June 1938, His family returned to India within a year. At 9 years of age, his home in Lahore became the part of Pakistan and his family moved to Delhi. The riots of Partition lead to major gunshot injuries to his mother who needed extensive surgery and hospitalization. Prof. Bhatia along with brother moved to boarding school. His father Prof. M L Bhatia was an Entomologist and retired as a consultant with the WHO. His mother Prof. Mrs. S. L Bhatia was Professor of Microbiology and founder of the Department of Microbiology at Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi. Both grandparents were surgeons Dr. Hira Lal Bhatia at Lahore and Prof. R N Bhatia at KGMC, Lucknow, India. Prof Ravi Bhatia is married to Mrs. Rita Bhatia [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].
| The Early Years of Medical Education And Subsequent Career in Neurosurgery|| |
Professor Ravi Bhatia did his MBBS from AIIMS, New Delhi, India. After completing his internship from AIIMS, New Delhi in 1962, Dr. Ravi Bhatia joined Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, as a house surgeon, worked there till 1964 under Prof. Jacob Chandy and Prof. Vaidthyalingam. It is at Vellore, he was introduced to the art and skill of neurosurgery by the late Prof. Jacob Chandy.
In February 1964, he joined as a demonstrator in Anatomy, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi and later on joined as a postgraduate in general surgery Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi, India, which gave him a strong surgical base to start his career as a surgeon.
His ambition to become a surgeon par excellence took him to Willesden General Hospital, Central Middlesex, London, UK where he started working as a house surgeon and later on, joined St. Thomas Hospital, London, from 1966 to 1967.
Dr. Bhatia's love for his country brought him back to India and he joined as a scientific Pool Officer under CSIR in the Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, from February to September of 1969 and later on started his most exciting journey in the field of neurosurgery as trainee registrar under the guidance of Prof. P. N Tandon (from 1969 to 1971).
With Prof. P. N Tandon, Prof. A. K Banerji, the late Prof. Brahma Prakash and Prof. B. S. Das, he embarked on a fascinating Neurosurgical journey. He obtained the MCh degree in 1971.
After completing his neurosurgery training in AIIMS, he worked as assistant neurosurgeon and post-Doctoral Fellow (Clinical and Research) Department of Neurosurgery and Neuropathology Ullevaal Hospital, Oslo, Norway from Sept 1972 to March 1974 where got the chance to work with Prof. K. Kristiansen and Prof. Ansgar Torvik. Other than this, he did some specialized training in the various fields of neurosurgery which included stereotactic surgery under Prof. Lars Leksell at Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden November-1973, Microneurosurgery under Prof. P. Donaghy, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington Vermont, USA (September-1984), Stereotactic Radiosurgery under Prof. B Meyerson, (Sweden) and Prof. E. Backlund Bergen Norway-1991.
Dr. Ravi Bhatia joined as the faculty of Neurosurgery at AIIMS, New Delhi, in 1974. He continued as faculty member for several years and became Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, in 1992. During his tenure as faculty, he trained a number of budding neurosurgeons and many of them are amongst the top neurosurgeons in India and abroad. He has not merely taught them neurosurgical skills rather touched their lives in different ways to make it more beautiful and worth. He used to be very strict with his residents during the ward rounds and in the operation theatre but never forgot to invite his students at home periodically to treat them to the best of the liquor and food.
He retired from AllMS to join Private Practice in Nov 1994 and worked as senior consultant neurosurgeon in Moolchand Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and Sitaram Bhartia Institute, New Delhi. In 1996, he joined Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, one of the most prestigious corporate hospitals in India. He developed a strong neurosurgical team there and performed thousands of complex spine and neurosurgical procedures in the past 25 years. At present, he is working as Emeritus Consultant neurosurgeon and guiding his fellow neurosurgeons in taking precise decisions in complex neurosurgical cases and continues the clinical teaching of trainee neurosurgeons.
Prof. Bhatia has had the privilege of being associated with exceptional colleagues, students and nursing staff at AIIMS. His interest included spine surgery, especially surgery of the craniovertebral junction; in addition to neurooncology, cerebrovascular disorders, and functional neurosurgery. He has published over a hundred scientific articles and chapters in the neurosurgical literature.
| Contribution as an Academic Neurosurgeon in India|| |
Dr. Bhatia contributed as a Member, Editorial Board Neurology India, official journal of the Neurological Society off India. He was a long-time reviewer for Neurology India, Indian Journal of Medical Research, Indian Journal of Pediatrics and National Medical Journal of India.
Prof. Ravi Bhatia has been Founder Member of Spastic Society of Northern India and former Trustee. He was the member of Executive Committee Neurological society of India and was treasurer of 9th International Congress of Neurological Surgery, 1989 (WFNS Congress, New Delhi, 1989). Dr. Bhatia continues to be the life trustee of WFNS India Trust. He was the member of board of studies for a long time in BHU Varanasi and Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lucknow, India. [Figure 3] and [Figure 4] shows Dr. Ravi Bhatia with neurosurgical colleagues across the world
|Figure 4: With Prof. Lindquist in International Conference of Neurosurgery|
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| Contribution as an Academic Neurosurgeon Abroad|| |
Prof. Ravi Bhatia has been as invited speaker at many prestigious Institutes around the world including Institute of Neurological Sciences, The Southern General Hospital Glasgow, U. K. Oct. 1982, New York Neurological Institute New York, Oct. 1984, St. Joseph's Hospital, Youngstown Ohio, USA Oct. 1984, Pakistan Society of Neurosurgeon Karachi Dec. 1988. Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Karachi Dec 1998 and Department of Neurosurgery Haukeland Hospital, University of Bergen, Norway 1990.
He was post-doctoral fellow in neurosurgery under the Norwegian Agency for International Development, Oslo, Norway-(1972–1974), fellow for the Study of Parkinsonism at Ullevaal Hospital, Oslo; for Steretactic surgery at Karolinska institute Stockholm, Sweden, November-1973. He received the British Council Fellowship to visit Neurosurgical Centers in the U. K. Prof. T. Hitchcock, Edinburgh (U. K) and Prof. Valentine Logue at National Hospital Queens Square, London, April 1974.
Dr. Bhatia has authored over 100 papers and chapters in scientific journals and books. He wrote 92 scientific articles and eight chapters in the different text books of neurosurgery.
| Research|| |
Dr. Ravi Bhatia had a curious mind and always remained a researcher. He was involved in various intramural and extramural research projects on brain and spine surgery during his tenure at AIIMS, New Delhi.
| Contribution to Spine Surgery|| |
Prof. Ravi Bhatia took the special interest in craniovertebral junction surgeries including transoral odontoidectomy and occipitocervical fusions using different technique. He trained many of his students in this field in his long career as a faculty member in AIIMS, New Delhi.
Anterior cervical microsurgical discectomy was the one procedure which every neurosurgeon must witness when Dr. Bhatia is doing this with his meticulous technique. He was very particular about the neat and bloodless surgical field while doing any spine surgery. His interlaminar approach for lumbar microsurgical discectomy was a surgical procedure worth watching for every budding neurosurgeon.
| Contribution to Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgry|| |
Prof. Ravi Bhatia was instrumental in starting the functional neurosurgery program at AIIMS, New Delhi, India. He successfully performed stereotactic pallidotomy in various cases of movement disorders in early 80s. Later on I started the functional neurosurgery program at Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, in the year 2000 with the help of Prof Ravi Bhatia. The first case of deep brain stimulation using image fusion technique in India was successfully done by me under the able guidance of Prof. Ravi Bhatia. [Figure 5] shows Prof. Bhatia with his current team at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.
|Figure 5: Prof. Ravi Bhatia with Dr. S K Tyagi and the current team at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital New Delhi|
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Other than this, he had done seminal work on rib cranioplasty for growing skull fractures.
| Learning Continues|| |
Prof. Ravi Bhatia believed that learning process of a neurosurgeon should continue throughout his career. One should not hesitate to pick up the new surgical techniques from anyone and anywhere, even from juniors. He always emphasised on the complete clinical examination of patient and its radiological correlation. He is always been known for his astute clinical sense and used to pick up very subtle neurological signs in complex neurological cases to establish the proper diagnosis.
His passion for meticulous surgical techniques inspired all his students to follow in his footsteps as it was the key for excellent outcome in major surgical procedure. He always insisted to follow the anatomical planes and laid down the standard protocols during the surgery.
He always taught his students to stop whenever there is any doubt while operating and consult another colleague or senior. According to him, there is always another chance to treat the patient if there is no permanent damage to the neural tissue.
Dr. Bhatia believed in the ethical practice of medicine and guided his fellow neurosurgeon to be sincere and passionate about their profession.
Prof. Ravi Bhatia is truly an epitome of Indian neurosurgery.
[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]