Major Hester deferred the procedure scheduled for Thursday until next week, after Saturday's big showdown between No. 18 Michigan and No. 17 Michigan State in Ann Arbor.
The retired office supply clerk is a devout Spartans fan and he can't risk something going wrong on the operating table that would prevent him from seeing the game.
"You never know," Hester told The Detroit News. "It's like going into combat. You may come home alive or you may come home dead."
Hester suffers from cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is weakened. He says he's willing to take the risk of putting off the surgery.
"Whatever happens, I want to see the game," he said.