Microwave Maze Procedure
What is the Maze procedure?
This can be a minimally invasive surgery or with a planned open heart surgery. It is done to stop atrial fibrillation (A-Fib), an abnormal heart rhythm. The impulses that cause this come from an area at the top of the heart. A catheter is used to burn a path around the top of the heart. The burned path, after healing, becomes a scar. This scar stops the electrical impulses that cause the heart to beat in an A-fib rhytm.
Minimally invasive surgery has two small incisions are placed in the side of the chest, below the arm pit.
Planned open heart surgery has a incision along your sternum.
Who is this treatment for?
- Patients who have not had open heart surgery in the past.
- Patients who do not have a clot in one of the chambers of their heart. (This can be seen on an echocardiogram.)
- Patients whose medicine does not control or correct their A-fib.
- Patients who have allergies or side effects to certain medicines.
- Patients who are not able to take blood thinners.
How long does the surgery take?
This can vary from patient to patient. Minimally invasive surgery may take 2 to 4 hours. Open heart surgery varies based on the other procedures.
What can I expect after surgery?
- Patients go to the cardiac surgery unit after this surgery.
- You will be in the hospital for 1-2 days.
- You will have a tube coming out near the incision in both of the sides of your chest. These tubes help to keep the lungs inflated. They will be removed the first day. This tube is called a chest tube.
- You will be given oxygen through the nose.
- You will have intravenous (IV) lines, a blood pressure cuff, and monitor attached to you.
- You will be taking medicines to control your heart rhythm. You may also take medicines to thin your blood. You may have been on these before surgery.
What can I expect when I go home?
- You will have dressings over your chest wounds for a day or two. Your nurse will teach you how to care for these. Then the wounds will be open to air.
- You will not be able to drive for 2 weeks for the minimally invasive surgery and 6 weeks for the type with open heart surgery. You will not be able to drive if you are taking pain medications.
- You will not be able to lift heavy objects for 3 weeks.
- Being active will increase strength and prevent complications. Walking and arm exercises will be encouraged.
- Many patients are in A-fib after surgery. This should convert to a normal heart rhythm within 6 months.
- You will be taking medicine to control your A-fib. Your doctor will tell you to stop taking this once your heart converts to a normal rhythm.
- Your follow-up will be by both your cardiologist and the cardiac surgeon.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 04/10/2013
Copyright © 04/10/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6510
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