MAZE Procedure Performed in Orange County, CA

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What Is Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)?

Atrial Fibrillation, also known as AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. Some symptoms people who have atrial fibrillation (AFib) may experience are fatigue, a sense of fluttering in the chest, dizziness, and shortness of breath. If left untreated, AFib can lead to stroke and other severe heart-related conditions such as heart failure.

What Are My Treatment Options for AFib?

There are many non-surgical treatments and preventative strategies for those with AFib, such as medication, electrical cardioversion, or ablation therapy to name a few. When these treatments fail, a patient who has atrial fibrillation may be referred to a cardiac surgeon for a MAZE procedure.

What Is the MAZE Procedure?

The procedure, usually performed by a cardiac surgeon is call the “Cox Maze” procedure or MAZE. As discussed in the ATS CRYOMAZE CASE STUDY called Robot Assisted CryoMaze: Atrial Fibrillation Correction Surgery in Patients with Failed Catheter Ablation, “The Cox Maze-III procedure is considered the gold standard in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. While the original procedure as described by James L. Cox, MD had a high degree of efficiency, it was not widely adopted due to the invasiveness of the procedure. With advances in minimally invasive techniques such as the use of the da Vinci surgical system for intracardiac surgery and a device to recreate the lesion set, the maze procedure is has been more adoptable by cardiac surgeons to treat patients with atrial fibrillation.”

MAZE ImageHow is the MAZE Procedure performed?

In the MAZE procedure the surgeon seeks to permanently interrupt aberrant electrical conduction within the atria to restore normal sinus rhythm. Often times the patient is put on cardiopulmonary bypass while the surgeon uses a combination of surgical incisions and/or energy sources such as heat, microwave, laser, ultrasound, or cryoprobe, to create lesions that will heal into scars that disrupt conduction. The surgeon may also excise the left atrial appendage or isolate it.

Can the Maze Procedure be done with robot assist?

Yes, The Bethencourt Group has a special interest in robotic surgery and atrial fibrillation procedures and have performed many maze procedures using the da Vinci robot surgical system. Our 2012-2015 data shows that 100% of people who had Isolated (meaning no other procedure needed) MAZE procedure were done via robot assistance, while approximately 75% of patients who needed the MAZE procedure in addition another heart procedure (such as Mitral Valve Repair) were able to have the procedure done via minimally invasive techniques which most commonly was done using the da Vinci Surgical System. Visit our video library to see Dr. Bethencourt perform a robot assisted Mitral Valve Repair & Maze procedure.

If other therapies have failed to control your atrial fibrillation, call The Bethencourt Group in Fountain Valley, CA at (657) 241-9440 to schedule a consultation and determine if you are a candidate for the MAZE procedure.