First of all, thank you ALL for your prayers! God is wonderful to give us such good friends and family to lift us up in prayer!
Neal's visit with the surgeon went well. His surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, April 9th, but he will go in on the 8th for a heart catherization and will stay overnight. They need to make sure he has no blockages in his heart before they open him up. If he does, they will fix those while in there.
The doctor emphasized that this is a major surgery...even more serious than bypass surgery. That kind of took my breath away a bit. They will be replacing his ascending aorta with a man-made part, and they will be replacing his defective aortic valve with a pig valve. We had three options on the valve: cadaver, pig, or mechanical. At first glance, the mechanical part sounds the best because they say it lasts a lifetime; however, the doctor said after 20 years or so it builds up scar tissue around it and would need surgery anyway. Plus if he were to use the mechanical part, Neal would have to take cumidin (sp?) or blood thinner for the rest of his life. This would put him at an increased chance for stroke. We are going with the pig part. The down side is that he will have to go through this again in about 15 years, but the doctor said he firmly believes that is less risky than being on the blood thinner all his life and having to have surgery again anyway.
Let's see...surgery will last 6 to 7 hours. They will have to stop his heart for 3 to 4 hours during surgery and have him on a heart/lung machine (I think that's what it's called). He will be in the hospital about a week, and recover is about 3 months. However, since he has a desk job, he should be able to go back to work in 4 to 6 weeks or whenever he feels his body can handle it. Just nothing strenuous.
We are very pleased with the surgeon. This is "his favorite surgery." :o) He actually got his PhD in this particular surgery, so we feel very blessed to have him operate on Neal. We told him we were already praying for him, and he thanked us.
That's all I can think of right now. If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I'll answer them.
Thank you, again, for your prayers!