Mini Maze Procedure Risks

The blood clots and strokes that are occasional complications with catheter ablation are rarely found in minimally invasive surgical ablation procedures. In addition, since the surgeon places ablation lines on the outside of the heart, 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, risks of a mini maze procedure can include:

  • Collapsed lung (pneumothorax) from deflating the lung in surgery, which is correctable with a chest tube
  • Major bleeding, which can occur if the left atrial appendage (LAA) is removed
  • Fluid build up in the chest cavity (pericardial effusion)
  • Inflammation of the heart tissue (pericarditis)
  • Stroke
  • Death

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In most studies reviewed, there are minimal complications. However, one study had a death early on due to tearing of the left atrial appendage.1

Research has also shown that if the left atrial appendage is not completely removed or sealed off, there is some risk of blood clots and a stroke following surgery. 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.

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