open or DaVinci, coughing and sneezing, even once, is incredibly painful for weeks after surgery (been there, done that).
Passing on a cold, flu, or pneumonia would not be a pleasant thing to do. I'm sure he will be happy to talk to you on the phone or swap emails. I didn't have any great desire to have anyone see me in person for the weeks after surgery. First the cath bag, then cripping around with a cane - not my idea of best foot forward.