The Maze procedure is not necessary in most patients with atrial fibrillation. Some patients, however, are so troubled by the way they feel when they are in AFIB or by the side effects of their medications, that a surgical option is appropriate.
The name of this procedure is based on the concept of a puzzle. The heart is "divided" by incisions that create a series of barriers that block the path of unwanted abnormal electrical impulses. The incisions are created with a microwave energy source, creating barriers and several blind alleys that allow for only one major route for an electrical impulse to travel from the top to the bottom of the heart.
The surgery has a success rate of 80 percent, and is currently always performed in conjunction with another open heart procedure.Learn More About the Maze Procedure