MAZE Procedure

The Arrhythmia Center at Missouri Baptist Medical Center provides treatment for arrhythmias using the MAZE procedure.

Surgery for atrial fibrillation is designed to restore patients to a regular heart rhythm, thereby reducing or eliminating the symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation. In addition, medications required to treat atrial fibrillation often can be stopped. Equally important, the long-term risk of stroke from atrial fibrillation can be reduced.

Missouri Baptist Medical Center cardiac surgeons have treated atrial fibrillation surgically since 2001. More than 70 modified MAZE procedures have been performed. This is the most effective treatment for atrial fibrillation to date.

What is the MAZE Procedure?

The MAZE procedure is an operation that involves isolating the triggers of atrial fibrillation, and more importantly, disrupting the electrical pathways responsible for maintaining atrial fibrillation once it develops.

It is an open heart operation requiring an incision through the breastbone and the support of the heart-lung machine while operating inside the heart.

Discrete lesions or scar tissue is created within the walls of the heart at precise locations using, most commonly, radiofrequency energy. This scar tissue is electrically insulated and acts to disrupt the abnormal electrical circuitry responsible for atrial fibrillation. In addition, at the end of the procedure the left atrial appendage (where clot commonly forms) is removed or tied off to help reduce the long-term risk of stroke.

In the largest experience of MAZE procedures, no patient developed any sign of stroke up to 10 years out from surgery.

New Advance:  Mini-MAZE Procedure

The Mini-MAZE procedure is a less invasive version of the traditional, open chest MAZE procedure, and is typically conducted as a treatment for atrial fibrillation in patients without other cardiac disorders.

The mini- Maze procedure involves small incisions on both sides of the rib cage under the armpits to address both the right and left side pulmonary veins. Using video guidance, bipolar radiofrequency energy is used to isolate and remove the area of the heart tissue where the arrhythmias originate.


  • Mini-MAZE does not involve a surgical incision through the breast bone
  • Heart lung machine is not used
  • Procedure completed in less than 90 minutes
  • 3 to 5- day hospital stay  with 2-week full recovery

For more information on the MAZE procedure or to schedule an appointment, call us at 314-996-3627 or contact us online.

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