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atrial fibrillation, maze, minimaze, pulmonary vein isolation



  1. Schouchoff, Barbara RN, MHSA, CNA,BC


The Cox Maze procedure, a cardiac intervention that was developed by James Cox, MD, was first performed in 1988 to surgically cure atrial fibrillation. Over the years, changes in techniques of the classic maze were made, culminating in the Cox Maze III procedure, the Gold Standard. Modifications in the original procedure included simplifying the procedure to a minimally invasive approach. As a result of some of these modifications, the initial maze-like series of surgical atrial incisions has been reduced with the use of alternate energy sources that create hyperthermic lesion lines of conduction block that isolate and interrupt the abnormal impulses. The minimaze, a minimally invasive thorascopic approach, can be performed off pump, thus avoiding a median sternotomy and cardiopulmonary bypass and cardioplegic arrest intraoperatively and ensuring a shorter, less painful recovery.