On Tuesday's season premiere, the TLC star says she just wants "to make it out the other side"
Dr. Jen Arnold is putting on a brave face.
In PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peek at Tuesday’s season premiere of The Little Couple, the TLC star prepares to head into her hip replacement surgery — her 35th surgery so far.
“We’ll be revising Jen’s right hip, which has been in place for many years and unfortunately looks like one of the components is loose and the other part is really worn out,” the surgeon explains. “I worry about the technical aspects of the surgery, making sure the components fit. We have to have very special components available to fit her size. And she has a very difficult airway, so we have real concerns from an anesthetic standpoint.”
Arnold’s husband Bill Klein, 44, comes to hold her hand and admits he’s concerned about the procedure.
“There’s different sets of risks associated with any major surgery, and skeletal dysplasia complicates things,” he says. “We metabolize medications at a different rate, so it’s hard to tell whether you have enough or not enough — and you really want to have just enough when you’re having your leg cut open so that you don’t feel it, but not too much to where you never feel it again, ever.”
“Part of me knows exactly what it feels like, and part of me is just sick to my stomach that I’m watching her have to go through it,” he adds. “People die on the operating table all the time, and you can’t help but think about that a little bit because that’s the only thing you’re able to think about. There’s nothing else going on.”
Arnold, 45, can’t help but admit that she’s “nervous.”
“I just want to make it out the other side,” she says.
The Little Couple returns Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.