So patients who seek a cure have to be evaluated and considered for the other two categories, whether it’s catheter ablation or surgical procedures that we now know can cure atrial fibrillation.
Dr. Aklog, I was lucky enough to be at your hospital one day when a presentation was being performed on different atrial fibrillation surgeries and procedures and one of the things that I watched, and I was totally impressed with this, was the mini-maze procedure. Is that what’s considered like the gold standard today?
Dr. Lishan Aklog:
Well, you know, I wouldn’t call it the gold standard because the reason it’s called the mini-maze procedure is because it’s a derivative of the full maze procedure and what it is, is less invasive version of the original full maze procedure which really is the gold standard. So let’s talk briefly about that first.
The full maze procedure was invented in the early 1990s by a doctor named Dr. James Cox in St. Louis, Missouri, and what the concept was, was actually one that we actually, that the patients can understand, which is that it’s called a maze procedure because that’s exactly what we are doing. We are creating a maze in the atrium which allows the heart, this jumbled, irregular heart activity to pass through in a, you know, like a maze typically has its one path that will get you from the beginning to the end – well that’s what we do. We basically create a maze on the chamber by creating these lines and forcing the electrical activity that go down a specific path.
So the success rate of a maze procedure when it was first conceived was and remains very high – it’s 90-95% effective. The mini-maze procedure was created because the full maze procedure is major open-heart surgery and a lot of patients who, where their only condition is atrial fibrillation were reluctant to undergo a full open heart operation.