Maze Surgery for Atrial Fibrillation

Definition

Maze surgery is used to treat atrial fibrillation. During Maze surgery, surgeons create a system of new electrical pathways, a "maze." This maze allows electrical impulses to travel directly to the lower chamber of the heart. As the heart heals, scar tissue forms. Because scar tissue can't carry electrical impulses, it keeps the new electrical impulses on the new path.


Prior to surgery

Before surgery, your doctor might do:

Anesthesia
General anesthesia

During surgery

During surgery, you will be put on:

  • IV (Intravenous therapy)
  • Breathing tube
  • Heart-lung machine

Following surgery

When the surgery is finished, doctors will re-start your heart.

How long will it take

  • About 3 hours
  • Average hospital stay
  • Approximately 5 to 7 days

Recovery

It usually takes about 2 months to recover. Most patients can return to work within 3 months. Cardiac rehabilitation can be helpful in allowing you to return to your daily activities.