The MAZE Procedure is a surgical approach that treats atrial fibrillation by interrupting the electrical impulses that cause abnormal heart rhythm. The surgery typically involves the placement of incisions in both atria, however can be modified to suit a given patient’s condition.
When the incisions heal, scar tissue forms and prevents abnormal electrical impulses from passing through the heart. This technique is highly effective in curing atrial fibrillation. However, potential complications of the procedure include fluid retention and other risks associated with open heart surgery such as bleeding, infection, stroke, and pneumonia.
For these reasons, and because the classical MAZE procedure requires a breastbone splitting incision, use of the heart-lung machine, and multiple incisions in the heart, this procedure has not been embraced by many patients and physicians.