Surgery Procedures for Atrial Fibrillation

While catheter ablation is less invasive than surgery, surgical procedures generally have higher one-time success rates. However, like other afib procedures, surgery has risks, so consider asking your doctor what you should know to decide about having a surgical procedure.

The benefit of having a procedure is that it could stop your afib, and in some cases, decrease your stroke risk.

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Follow the links below to learn about the different types of afib surgery procedures done by cardiac (cardiothoracic) surgeons, including what to expect and risks and success rates.

  • Maze procedure, also called the Cox Maze IV, is a surgical ablation. It is an open-heart procedure that uses an energy source to scar the tissue. It is typically combined with other heart surgery, such as valve repair or bypass, and is called a concomitant procedure. It may also be done as a standalone procedure for afib.
  • Mini maze procedure is a minimally invasive surgical ablation that uses an energy source to scar the tissue. It is less invasive than the Maze procedure as it doesn’t require opening the chest. Thus, it has a shorter recovery time, though the recovery time is more than for catheter ablation.

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