What is the maze procedure method of surgical compartmentalization of the atria in atrial fibrillation (Afib) (AF)?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Since its inception, surgical compartmentalization of the atria, or the “maze” procedure, has evolved as an exciting approach with the potential to cure atrial fibrillation (AF). The procedure involves making a series of small endocardial incisions in the right and left atria to isolate the pulmonary veins and interrupt potential reentrant pathways required for AF maintenance. Early experience showed that atrial transport is restored postoperatively and that long-term anticoagulation is not required.

The downside remains the need for an open chest procedure; however, thoracoscopic approaches have been developed which reduce the duration of hospitalization and recovery times. The maze procedure remains an attractive procedure for patients with AF who are undergoing concomitant mitral valve procedures. Its role as a primary therapy for AF is doubtful. The role of lesion sets on outcome after maze procedure was studied; the addition of right-sided ablation was found to improve clinical and electrophysiologic results after maze procedure. [128]

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