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Maze and Mini-maze Surgery

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Minimally invasive cardiac ablation surgery is known as the mini-maze procedure. This surgical procedure treats atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the atria quiver instead of beating in tempo with the ventricles. Additional electrical pulses that activate the atria cause the irregular heartbeat. This condition can cause blood to pool in the heart and potentially clot, increasing the likelihood of stroke. The maze procedure involves a series of stitches that interrupt these extraneous electrical pulses and which form a maze-like pattern on the heart.

The original maze procedure, developed in 1987 has had many improvements with the significant development of minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive ablation can be accomplished now with a series of three or four small incisions for surgical instruments. This technique continues to evolve and treatment may also include the use of a clamp on the left atrial appendage during the ablation surgery.

Minimally invasive cardiac ablation may be right for patients with atrial fibrillation not accompanied with other valve or heart conditions. The traditional maze procedure may be right for patients with possible complications. If fibrillation cannot be controlled with medication or anticoagulant medication cannot be taken then the maze or mini-maze surgery may be a suitable alternative. Your cardiothoracic surgeon can advise which procedure might be best for you.

If you have questions about the maze or mini-maze surgeries, please contact the medical team at Cardiac Surgery Associates of Tampa by phone at 813.910.0027 or request a consultation online now.