Surgical Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

Service:
Heart & Vascular Care
Surgical Care
Type:
Surgery
Featured Physician:
Erick L. Montero, MD

There are various methods for treating atrial fibrillation (AFib) available today. AFib is considered an arrhythmia and is the most common type of arrhythmia. AFib occurs when the electric signals in the heart’s two upper chambers miscommunicate and begin to fibrillate, or contract faster and irregularly. The symptoms are a heartbeat that is too fast or too slow and causes an irregular rhythm. AFib also causes the blood to pump irregularly which makes the upper and lower chambers work inefficiently. If left untreated, AFib could lead to stroke or heart failure.

Surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation is a procedure also referred to as the “maze” procedure because the incisions made have maze-like patterns. The surgeon creates a number of incisions to cause scar tissue on the left and right atria. The scar tissue disrupts the abnormal electrical impulses that cause atrial fibrillation and prevent further erratic electrical signals from forming, restoring a normal heart rhythm. This procedure is typically an open chest procedure with a very high success rate.