Maze surgery, also known as the Cox-Maze procedure, is a type of heart surgery that is used to treat certain types of arrhythmias, specifically atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib is a condition in which the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) beat irregularly and out of sync with the lower chambers (the ventricles), which can lead to symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
The Maze procedure is a complex surgical technique that involves creating a series of small incisions or lesions in the atria of the heart, using either a scalpel or a specialized surgical tool that delivers energy (such as radiofrequency or cryotherapy). The incisions are carefully placed in a specific pattern, which creates a series of channels that help to guide electrical impulses through the heart and restore a normal heartbeat.
The Maze procedure can be performed using an open-heart approach (in which the chest is opened and the heart is exposed) or a minimally invasive approach (in which smaller incisions are made and specialized surgical instruments are used to access the heart).
After the procedure, patients are typically monitored in the hospital for a short period of time to ensure that the heart is functioning properly. Recovery time varies depending on the specific approach used for the surgery.
The Maze procedure has been shown to be highly effective in treating AFib, with success rates of up to 90%. However, it is a complex and technically challenging surgery that is typically reserved for patients who have not responded to other treatments for AFib, such as medications or catheter ablation. In addition, the Maze procedure carries some risks, including bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding tissue. As with any surgical procedure, the benefits and risks of the Maze procedure should be carefully considered and discussed with a healthcare provider.