Reducing Risk, Improving Rhythm: Treating Atrial Fibrillation

Surgery Options to Correct Atrial Fibrillation

At Missouri Baptist Medical Center cardiac surgeons have treated atrial fibrillation surgically since 2001. Surgery for atrial fibrillation is designed to restore patients to a regular heart rhythm, thereby reducing or eliminating the symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation including risk of stroke. In addition, many patients are able to stop usage of medications required to treat atrial fibrillation.

MAZE Procedure

More than 70 modified MAZE procedures have been performed at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.  This is the most effective treatment for atrial fibrillation to date. This operation 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. 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 changes the abnormal electrical circuitry responsible for atrial fibrillation.

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.

Advantages:

  • Mini-MAZE does not involve 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 procedures for treatment of atrial fibrillation or to schedule an appointment, call MoBap at 314-996-3627.

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