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Thomas E. Gaines, MD
This page provides information about a featured electrophysiologist, cardiologist, cardiothoracic surgeon, hospital, heart hospital, arrhythmia center, or atrial fibrillation center.
On this page you will find an overview of this atrial fibrillation patient services provider's atrial fibrillation treatments and background, as well as information about this provider's specialized afib procedures, such as catheter ablation, maze surgery, or the mini maze procedure, and the provider's treatment results, when available. There are also reviews by other afib patients, when available.Provide a Patient Review List Your Services with Us
1940 Alcoa Highway, Suite E260
Knoxville, Tennessee 37920
Medical School: University of Washington
Internship: William Beaumont Army Medical Center
Residency: Walter Reed Army Medical Center; William Beaumont Army Medical Center
American Board of Surgery; American Board of Thoracic Surgery
Atrial Fibrillation Procedures
The University of Tennessee Medical Center is the only hospital in East Tennessee to offer the Mini-Maze procedure. Experience to date, indicates that the Mini-Maze surgery eliminates atrial fibrillation in more than 85 percent of patients who undergo the surgery.
The procedure, also called the Wolf MiniMaze, was developed by Randall Wolf, MD, from University Hospital in Cincinnati. It is performed using minimally invasive devices all navigated by a miniature camera so physicians can see and operate on the heart without making large incisions in the chest. Patients can return to normal activity more quickly after the procedure and note less pain than with the traditional approach. In fact, hospital stays often are only two days instead of seven or more with conventional surgery.
The Mini-Maze procedure involves the use of thoracoscopy, whereby a video telescope is inserted into the chest and instruments specially designed for the procedure are inserted via small ports or “keyhole” incisions. This means there are only small incisions and no division of bones or spreading of ribs. Surgeons are able to burn lines in the heart, isolating areas where the irregular signal starts. The damaged tissue can no longer conduct electrical impulses, interrupting the transmission of the abnormal signal and allowing the rest of the chamber to resume beating normally. In addition the left atrial appendage, a fingerlike structure where clots form, is removed. This significantly reduces the stroke risk faced by patients on a daily basis.