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What is a Maze Procedure?

A maze procedure is a heart surgery used to treat atrial fibrillation, commonly known as “Afib.” A surgeon will use small incisions, radio waves, freezing, or microwave/ultrasound energy to create scar tissue. The scar tissue will block the abnormal electrical signals causing the arrhythmia. This procedure is often done if needed after cardiac ablation.

UR Medicine's Approach

Your UR Medicine provider will talk you through the surgery, answering any questions you may have. They will also share the ways you may need to prepare, such as not eating or drinking or stopping certain medicines. Your provider may request some routine tests before the procedure, such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG), to assess the heart rhythm
  • Blood tests
  • Echocardiogram (echo), to assess heart structure and function

What Happens During a Maze Surgery?

The surgical process for a maze procedure can vary based on the patient, and your UR Medicine Cardiac Care team will help you prepare for what to expect. During a typical open-heart maze procedure, your surgeon will make small areas of scar tissue in the atria either using radiofrequency energy or small stiches. The surgery will take several hours.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Most patients will need to stay in the hospital for a few days after the surgery. Recovery may include breathing therapy if a breathing tube is needed.

Full recovery will take a few weeks once you are home. Your provider will tell you when it is safe to drive and lift heavy objects.

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine Cardiac Care is a world leader in heart rhythm disorders. Doctors here led research that has changed the way arrhythmias are treated around the world.

Other medical centers use our guidelines when deciding which patients need treatment for serious cardiac rhythm problems. We offer the most advanced and effective treatments for heart rhythm disorders and perform more of them than any other hospital in the Rochester area. In many cases, the treatments we provide are unavailable elsewhere in the region.

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