Using techniques similar to that of the mitral valve, a “MAZE” procedure can be performed to treat atrial fibrillation either alone or with a mitral valve operation. This can be done many different ways, but I prefer a totally endoscopic cryomaze approach. This approach and technology reproduces the important lesions originally described by Dr. Cox who designed the procedure upon which all atrial fibrillation procedures (both catheter and surgery) are based upon. I believe that this gives you the best chance of being successfully put into sinus rhythm short of the original “cut and sew” method that requires a sternotomy (breast plate division).
This procedure is performed through very small incisions similar to what we do for robotic mitral valve surgery (often it is performed at the same time as mitral valve surgery). We do perform isolated maze procedures in the same way. Our philosophy is that if a patient is going to subject themselves to surgery, however minimally invasive, they should get as close to the “gold standard” in surgical ablation as possible.
Below is a video of a robotic totally endoscopic MAZE procedure performed by Dr. Guy.