In a relative sense, of course. It looks like only one cord has torn free on the valve in his heart–there are a number of cords holding the valve in place, like a parachute. So they think that he’s better off with what he has than trying for a replacement valve. So they don’t recommend open heart surgery for that issue.

The other main issue is that all three of the main arteries leading from his heart are partially blocked–about 70%. The good news is that two of them are in straight sections of their respective arteries, and the other blockage is not curved very tightly. This means that he has the option to get three stents instead of open heart surgery with bypasses.

With stents, they stick a tiny cylindrical cage on the tip of an angioplasty balloon and insert it up an artery from his leg. When it gets to the right spot up near his heart, they expand the stent and it stays there, becoming the new artery wall with new tissue growing around it. With open heart surgery, they break open your chest to reroute your arteries. Both are very successful, but three guesses which one my dad is opting for.

Well, perhaps more news tomorrow. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and my dad has an almost obscenely quick recovery like the last two times (’91 and ’99).