Mr Heywood completed his undergraduate training at Cambridge University and The Middlesex Hospital Medical School (now University College London). His early postgraduate and general surgical training were undertaken in London, Cambridge, and Southern Africa (two years 1986/87 as Senior Registrar and Lecturer at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia), and specialist training (Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery) in Edinburgh, Birmingham, and Oxford (including a Hand Surgery Fellowship at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford in 1996).
He was appointed Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1997 (andalso as visiting Consultant to Northampton General Hospital 1997-2004), and was the Clinical Director for Burns and Plastic Surgery at Stoke Mandeville 2003-06.
Mr Heywood’s main area of specialist interest and expertise is in Hand and Upper Limb Surgery, although he is fully trained and experienced in most aspects of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Besides all the common problems that affect the hand (such as injuries and their after-effects, nerve problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and other less common types of nerve compression, and Dupuytren's Disease), he also has a particular interest in the treatment of rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis affecting the hand, and reconstructive surgery for the paralysed upper limb.
At Stoke Mandeville, besides a weekly general hand clinic, he hold regular specialist clinics for arthritis sufferers, and for spinal cord injury patients in the National Spinal Injury Centre. Mr Heywood’s work with paralysed hands, whether due to spinal cord or peripheral nerve injury, principally involves tendon transfer surgery, in which any remaining non-paralysed muscles and tendons can be transferred into a new position in order to take over the most important functions of the muscles that have been paralysed.
Mr Heywood’s NHS responsibilities also include the teaching of trainee plastic surgeons and undergraduate students, and is an examiner for the Hand Diploma, a specialist qualification in hand surgery awarded by the British Society for Surgery of the Hand and the University of Manchester. He has published a number of textbook chapters and scientific papers concerning various aspects of hand surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and burns.
In the private sector his practice includes all the same kinds of work as for the NHS, along with general plastic surgical procedures such as the removal of skin lesions, and the surgical treatment of scars.
Mr Heywood’s main private clinic is at the Chiltern Hospital, where he works with a team of expert Hand Therapists who undertake the complex physiotherapy and splintage that is vital for good outcomes after many hand operations.