I had neck surgery on 12/21/11 and just passed my 1st class medical this morning! Wooo, hoo. Back to work. And back to flying my little airplane, too.
Everything I did with regard to the surgery was well-planned to get me back to work ASAP. I FedEx'd all the pertinent documents to my AME about 10 days prior to my exam. He made sure he had enough documentation to issue my medical on the spot and that's exactly what he did this morning.
I'd strongly suggest that anyone with an out-of-the-ordinary situation seek out an AME who's familiar with special issuance and special situation medicals. I know of many docs who turn a mole hill into a mountain for no other reason than they're unfamiliar with the FAA rules and procedures.
Just my humble opinion.
Brighton, Colorado (CO12)
RV-3 IO-320 Whirlwind 3-blade constant speed