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Home > Cardiac Surgery > Surgical Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation > Micro Maze Procedure

Micro (Mini) Maze Procedure

The Micro Maze procedure utilizes microwave technology to create scar tissue on the upper chambers of the heart (atrium) to block the abnormal electrical activity that causes Atrial Fibrillation (AF).  The technique is minimally invasive because it performs the classic Maze procedure through very small incisions on the side of the chest.  Through less than 1 inch incisions, instruments and cameras are inserted into the chest cavity to perform the dissection necessary to place a flexible microwave probe around the heart to create the scar tissue. 

In March 2004, surgeons of Phoenix Cardiac Surgery performed the first minimally invasive (Micro) Maze procedure at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital.  This procedure was performed on a patient with lone AF.  This means that he had no other indications for heart surgery other than AF. 

The procedure is always done under general anesthesia, but instead of utilizing a typical sternotomy approach (incision in the middle of the chest that fractures the breast bone in half), it is performed through very small (less than 1 inch) incisions on the side of the chest.  The technique uses a thoracoscope (camera) to help with visualization of the internal organs.  The operation typically requires 3-4 hours.  Post op hospital stays vary from 2-4 days.  Patients can quite often return to work in 1-2 weeks.

Surgeons affiliated with Phoenix Cardiac Surgery are regional leaders in this new approach for the treatment of AF and help with the training of other heart surgeons in the Southwest of America on this new approach.  The procedure is typically performed with minimal discomfort compared to the traditional approach, and has a very high success rate. 

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