Hey Tyler,My name is Ken Levine I can speak of some experience about open heart surgery. I have had three open hearts when I was a young lad, surgeries were in 1968, 1972, and 1976. I am now 62.The long and the short of it is that in 1976 I had a prosthetic aortic valve implanted. It did mean taking coumadin, and I will tell you that part is a PIA, HOWEVER, I just had an echocardiogram (sp) and my cardiologist told me it is looking great......after 42 years! I have a Bjork-Shiley valve, and in 1976, very few surgeons had the training to perform the procedure.And how far we have come in 40, 50 years. I know you know how having your sternum opened up is hard, and I remember all three times it was done, (in those days I swear it was with a Sears saws-all!) but still being very healthy, biking and walking all over town in Vermont, it is good to know I am still good to go. These decisions are yours to make my young friend. I am hopefully responding to your request for info, and not only am I glad you joined MendedHearts (the compassion is healing) I recommend you talk to your cardiologist which you have been doing.