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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

It's hard to believe it's been nine years since Katherine Heigl hung up her stethoscope on "Grey's Anatomy," but it's true — and a lot has happened in the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital since then.

For starters, it was known as Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital when she last completed her rounds.

But as the series approaches its 16th season, the question is, would Heigl consider returning to the hit medical drama if it suddenly sent out a page for Dr. Izzie Stevens? Even if just for a one-off, future-day series finale?

Katherine Heigl doesn't really see herself returning to "Grey's Anatomy" so many years after her departure.Walt Disney Television via Getty

"That's a tough one," the actress said during a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight. "I haven't (thought about Izzie) in years. I don't know. I don't know if I would or if I wouldn’t."

And the 40-year-old wasn't just considering her own feelings when she said that. Heigl was also weighing what fans would think about seeing her familiar face on the series once more.

"I almost just feel like that would be distracting again to what they've done with that show in the ... years since I left, you know, and what that's become and what it is to the fans now. ... It would just be kind of like, 'Yeah we already let that go. Why are you here?'"

It's a very different take than the one the star had back in 2012, just two years after her departure, when she made it known that she definitely wanted to revisit her role.

Where it all began: "Grey's Anatomy," season one (2005).Alamy Stock

"I've told them I want to," Heigl told E! News at the time, noting that she wasn't sure a return would fit in with "Grey's" creator Shonda Rhimes' vision for the series. Still, "I really, really, really want to see where (Izzie) is," she continued. "I just want to know what happened to her and where she went and what she's doing now."

As for Heigl, her fans know exactly what she's doing now — gearing up for the final season of her current show, "Suits," which kicks off July 17 on USA Network.