Which country Stella?

I can only speak about the English system but here we do have, 'The Patients Charter' this allows a patient to be quite emphatic in their desires and the health service must adhere to those desires, unless their is palpable medical reason not to. Elective surgery we call it and was what I undertook.

If you are in America, then John the (Dragonslayer), and/or Brad (wolverinefan)members here, have major AS and have both undergone very large surgeries, as has Phannu very recently. These may be the people to guide you further

A delight to meet with you, even if under these 'miserable illness' circumstances