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On Wednesday, August 23rd, I will be having a little nip and tuck on my heart to correct a birth defect in my mitral valve. The surgery will be performed by Mayo Clinic's head of thoracic surgery at Mayo Clinic's St. Mary's Hospital campus in Rochester, MN. This defect, along with a deformed aortic valve, was first discovered via heart murmur during my mid-twenties and has been closely monitored since then. My cardiologist has preferred to delay action as long as possible to take full advantage of advancements in surgical technologies. That strategy has paid off. In April tests conclusively showed that it was time for surgery. My particular mitral valve defect is the rarest and most difficult to correct and for this reason I was referred to Mayo Clinic for their experience and surgical technology to ensure the best possible outcome. I was first told that open heart valve replacement was the only option but after review at Mayo Clinic (and I believe a lot of prayer) I am having less invasive robotic valve repair. It seems like a walk in the park by comparison, eliminates lifelong blood thinners and blood tests resulting in a better quality of life, but is still a pretty big deal, I guess. I report for surgery at 5:30 am and will be settled into ICU around 1 pm after surgery. I expect 3 days in the hospital followed by two days in a hotel across the street and then home for continued recovery - by the grace of God that all goes as planned.