updated 12/08/2010 AT 7:05 PM ET
•originally published 12/09/2010 AT 9:05 AM ET
Sure, Bret Michaels knows there are risks surrounding his upcoming surgery to repair a hole in his heart. But as harrowing as the prospect of going under the knife is, Michaels is characteristically upbeat.
“I gotta tell ya, I’m very positive,” the rocker tells PEOPLE of the surgery, which is expected to happen in January. “I feel positive they’re going to do an amazing job. They’ve done thousands of these operations.”
Michaels will have the operation at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, a place he’s regrettably familiar with. The diabetic music man has been put through the wringer, first with an emergency appendectomy in April, followed shortly thereafter by a life-threatening brain hemorrhage, then a mini-stroke in May, which is when doctors found the hole in his heart.
Michaels tells PEOPLE he’s already prepping for the operation, which entails a rigorous medication regimen – “We switched out from [blood thinner] Lovenox now and there are two new blood thinners [including] Coumadin,” he says, adding that in the days right before the surgery, the staff at St. Joseph’s will carefully monitor of his blood sugar.
“And then I go in for the surgery,” Michaels explains. “I’d say if everything goes well, I’ll spend about three days in the hospital. And then about three weeks after that just really, really, really taking it easy.”
That’s when things can get hairy.
Post-op is “the more scary part for me. Once you do this operation, your heart, you’re hoping there’s no infection,” Michaels, 47, says. “You re hoping there’s no clot. There’s a lot of things you got to watch out for And being diabetic increases that tenfold.”
The surgery itself involves a mechanism that serves to mend the hole, which Michaels describe as “a fake, umbrella-looking apparatus” that will close the hole up.
Despite any fears he might have, Michaels, of course, is focusing on the upside.
“It’s 95 percent unbelievably great results,” he says of this type of procedure. “Of course, there’s always the 5 percent risk at anything you do with this kind of thing and I’m hoping I’ll be in the 95 percent category.”