The Maze procedure: Surgical therapy for refractory atrial fibrillation

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Although atrial fibrillation is well tolerated by most patients, in some patients the consequences may be severe. The Maze procedure is a new open-heart operation that creates a carefully designed maze of incisions in the atrial myocardium; this maze then acts as an electrical conduit to channel atrial impulses from the sinoatrial node to the atrioventricular node. The Maze procedure has been shown to restore sinus rhythm and atrial systole (thus reducing the risk of thromboembolism), improve hemodynamics, alleviate palpitations, and eliminate the need for antiarrhythmic and anticoagulant drugs. We describe our first patient to undergo this operation.


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