Maze is a surgical procedure of the heart. A maze-like pattern of scars is made in the upper chambers of the heart. The chambers are called the atria.
A traditional maze surgery requires the chest to be opened and the heart to be stopped. A mini-maze is done with small incisions and special surgical tools. This often leads to shorter recovery time and lower risk of infection.
Maze is done to cure atrial fibrillation. Fibrillation is abnormal beating of heart muscle. It is caused by erratic electrical impulses that travel through the heart muscle. These impulses can cause the chambers to beat too fast. This can decrease blood flow through the heart. Atrial fibrillation can also cause blood clots to form in the heart that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
Maze is used to treat severe cases that did not respond to medicine or other procedures. Electrical impulses cannot flow through scar tissue. By creating specific patterns of scar tissue, maze surgery creates a pathway for healthy impulses and blocks erratic impulses.
Arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital. Also, have someone help you at home.
Eat a light meal the night before. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
If you smoke, it is best to stop.
General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep during the surgery. You may also be given a sedative before surgery to help you relax.
Description of the Procedure
Minimally invasive procedure only requires small cuts to be made in the chest wall. Two small incisions will be made along your side. A small camera will be inserted through one of the incisions. The doctor will be able to look at the heart with this camera. A second tool will be used to create small areas of scar tissue. The tip of the tool uses extreme cold or radiowaves to destroy small areas of tissue. This process is called ablation.
Once the chosen areas have been treated, the instruments will be removed. The skin will be closed with stitches or staples.
Immediately After Procedure
Your recovery will be monitored in the intensive care unit. Your heart’s activity will be recorded by EKG. Pain medicine will be given as needed to help you rest comfortably.
How Long Will It Take?
About 3-4 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Your doctor will recommend other medicine to help manage soreness later in recovery.
Average Hospital Stay
About 3 days
At the Hospital
While you are recovering at the hospital, you may receive the following care:
Fluids and pain medicine will be given through an IV line. You may be given medicine to help control the build-up of fluids.
Efforts will be made to get you out of bed and walking as soon as possible.
You will be asked to do deep breathing and coughing exercises. This will help reduce the risk of fluid build-up in your lungs.
It can take up to 3-4 weeks to fully recover. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions, which may include:
Rest when needed. At first, it is normal to feel more tired than usual.
Walk daily. Activity will help with the healing process.
Take the pain medicine as directed. Some pain medicine can cause constipation. To avoid this problem:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a