A pioneering surgeon at Redhill’s East Surrey Hospital has been made an OBE in the New Year Honours.

Professor Abhay Rane performed the first keyhole surgery through the belly button in Europe when he pioneered the keyhole procedure on a patient at East Surrey Hospital in 2007.

Since then, he has taught and mentored other specialists to perform the practice across the world.

Mr Rane, a consultant urological surgeon, who has worked at the hospital for the past 13 years, has praised Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the East Surrey, for supporting his innovation, that has proved to be very successful and is now widely adopted in many countries.

The specialist has been given the honour for services to laparoscopic surgery, otherwise known as keyhole surgery.

He was praised for both the innovation and the dissemination of the practice. As well as mentoring other consultants, Mr Rane has written more than 100 publications, and given many presentations at international medical seminars.

As a result of his efforts more than a dozen hospitals in the UK now have a local laparoscopic urology programme.

Professor Rane was nominated in the New Year Honours by a former patient and fellow specialist Urologist, Peter Rimmington. The two gathered citations from nearly 25 respected urologists from around the world. Mr Rane said: “I am overwhelmed by the honour.

“I have had the privilege to read the citations written by the people I know and respect and I am extremely humbled by what they say about me and my work.”

He said: “You can’t do it alone though, and I am very fortunate to have support from the Trust’s executive team and a fantastic team around me.”

The efforts of hospital trusts like Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which support progression and forward-thinking, have led to some surgical procedures becoming less immobilising for many patients.

With regard to keyhole surgery, first, incisions were made smaller, and then keyhole surgery through several ports was introduced.

Following on from this, Professor Rane developed his technique to perform key-hole surgery through the belly button, resulting in no visible scarring.