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Get in Rhythm. Stay in Rhythm.™ View Replays from Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference Aug 4-6, 2017, in Dallas, TX
Get in Rhythm. Stay in Rhythm.™ View Replays from Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference Aug 4-6, 2017, in Dallas, TX

Mini Maze Procedure Risks

The blood clots and strokes that are occassional complications with catheter ablation are rarely found in the mini maze procedure as no catheters are involved. And since the surgeon uses a thoracoscope to see the heart directly, there may be less risk of obstructing the pulmonary veins (pulmonary vein stenosis).

However, any procedure dealing with the heart has risks. While we rarely see any of the following, the risks of a mini maze procedure do include:

  • Collapsed lung from deflating the lung in surgery, which is correctable with a chest tube
  • Vein inflammation (phlebitis)
  • Heart tissue inflammation (pericarditis)
  • Blood vessel or heart damage
  • Death

In most studies reviewed, there are minimal complications, though in one study there was one death very early on due to tearing of the left atrial appendage.1

Research has also shown that there is some risk of blood clots and a stroke following surgery if the left atrial appendage is not completely removed or sealed off. To learn more, see Left Atrial Appendage Removal May Not Always Prevent Stroke.

If you want to know if you are a candidate for a mini maze procedure, see Are You a Candidate for Mini Maze Surgery?.

1 Edgerton, James R., MD, et al, Minimally Invasive Pulmonary Vein Isolation and Partial Autonomic Denervation for Surgical Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation <http://ats.ctsnetjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/86/1/35>, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 2008;86:35-39.

Last Modified 5/7/2009

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