Quick update - I called the Elective Surgery Info Service this morning to see if I could shift my operation back by a month, only to find out that I was given incorrect information on Monday! I'm not on the list for February at all! The middle of the year (closer to - yes - a year's wait) is much more likely.
Hugely relieved! I can finish these two books in (relative) peace, and make sure I keep the middle of the year clear of major deadlines.