Tests & Procedures > Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) > Surgical Ablation of A-fib (Maze)

Surgical Ablation of A-fib (Maze)

Our surgeons use advanced, minimally invasive techniques to perform A-fib surgery.

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Minimally Invasive Maze Procedure

During the MAZE procedure, a number of incisions are made on the left and right atrium of the heart to form scar tissue. The scar tissue does not conduct electricity and this disrupts the path of the abnormal electrical impulses that cause the arrythmia. The scar tissue also prevents erratic electrical signals from recurring. After the incisions are made, the atrium is sewn together to allow it to hold blood and contract to push blood into the ventricle.

Traditional MAZE surgery is an open chest procedure. The surgeons at PHCVI specialize in a minimally invasive approach, performed through small keyhole incisions made between the ribs, and using a tiny camera and video guided instruments. When appropriate, robots are used to assist the surgeon during the procedure.

This approach does not require the heart to be stopped and avoids breaking and separating the sternum. The result is often a shorter recovery time and a lower risk of infection associated with open-heart surgery.

Thoracoscopic Maze

PinnacleHealth is one of just a few medical centers nationally offering Total Thoracoscopic Maze. During the surgery, real-time mapping techniques are used to locate the sources of A-fib, so the surgeon can perform an immediate repair at the origin of the abnormal electrical signals. This procedure is what’s known as a “closed-chest, beating-heart procedure,” meaning that use of the heart-lung bypass machine is not required.

Thoracoscopic Maze has been shown to be 90 percent effective at maintaining a normal heartbeat without the use of any anti-arrhythmic medications a full year after the surgery, for all types of A-fib.

Concomitant Maze

When the Maze procedure is performed during open-heart bypass surgery or valve surgery, it is called a “concomitant Maze.” The surgeons at PHCVI are expert at performing complex surgical procedures concurrently.