Maze Procedure (Surgical Ablation)
The surgical ablation maze procedure, or Cox Maze IV, evolved from the Cox Maze III cut-and-sew procedure. Instead of using incisions, a surgical ablation energy source is used to create a conduction block of scar tissue to stop the errant electrical signals. The surgical ablation version of the maze procedure is much faster than Cox Maze III and is considered very effective.1
As an open-chest procedure, it is usually performed on patients needing open-heart surgery for other issues, such as valve replacement or repair or coronary artery bypass (CABG). This is called "concomitant surgery," meaning that it's done along with another procedure. It is performed on either a stopped or a beating heart.
While this open-chest maze surgery is sometimes done as a standalone procedure on patients with atrial fibrillation only, more often these afib-only cases are handled by the closed chest mini maze procedure.
If you're considering a surgical ablation maze procedure to cure atrial fibrillation and other heart issues, you need to know about Maze Procedure Success Rates, Maze Procedure Risks, and Are You a Candidate for a Maze Procedure.