Patrick Dempsey's 'Grey's Anatomy' return was "extremely heartfelt and organic".

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey

The 54-year-old actor - who plays neurosurgeon Derek 'McDreamy' Shepherd in hit TV series - exited the show when his on-screen character died in April 2015, but he recently made a return to the medical drama via the imagination of Meredith Grey.

A source told Us Weekly: "The timing for Patrick’s return had finally come. He was extremely professional, friendly, funny, and his chemistry with Ellen [Pompeo] was still there.

"The crew enjoyed the time with Patrick, and there was a lot of catching up."

Despite his long absence from the show, Patrick wasted no time in reconnecting with his former colleagues.

The insider observed that the 'Grey's Anatomy' team are "a big family and Patrick may have left it for a bit, but as families do, they come back together. It was extremely heartfelt and organic to watch it all."

Patrick also recently admitted to loving his return to the show.

The actor explained: "I think the whole atmosphere has changed, certainly working at the beach, and seeing everybody again was really a very healing process, and really rewarding, and a lot of fun.

"And hopefully, that feeling translates, and the fans enjoy it. I know that they’ve been wanting us to get back together, and I think this will satisfy a lot of people, and surprise a lot of people, hopefully."

By contrast, Patrick previously confessed that the show's demanding schedule took a toll on his personal life.

He shared: "It’s 10 months, 15 hours a day. You never know your schedule, so your kid asks you, ‘What are you doing on Monday?’ and you go, ‘I don’t know,’ because I don’t know my schedule.

"Doing that for 11 years is challenging. … What I would like to do is focus on not being spread so thin. Those days are over!"