Atrial Fibrillation Surgery
Advanced Surgical Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) in which the atria (the two small upper chambers of your heart) beat chaotically. Atrial fibrillation can lead to stroke, congestive heart failure, or cardiomyopathy, so treating it effectively is very important. The cardiac surgery team at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens offers the latest treatments for people with atrial fibrillation that cannot be controlled with non-surgical approaches.
The Maze procedure is an open heart operation designed to cure atrial fibrillation by interrupting the electrical impulses that cause an abnormal rhythm. It involves the placement of incisions or ablating tissue in both atria. When the incisions or ablation lines heal, scar tissue forms, creating a "roadblock" that prevents the abnormal electrical impulses from passing through the heart. Maze stops the atrial arrhythmia, restores normal rhythm between the atria and the ventricles, and preserves the ability of the atria to contract on their own.
Some patients with atrial fibrillation who are at risk for stroke may have a procedure called left atrial appendage occlusion to reduce their risk. Most blood clots in these patients start in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). During the occlusion procedure, the doctor inserts a special device to close off the LAA, which prevents blood clots in that area from entering the bloodstream and decreases stroke risk as a result.
Hybrid Convergent Procedure
NewYork-Presbyterian Queens heart specialists perform the "convergent procedure" for people with advanced atrial fibrillation that cannot be effectively treated using catheter ablation alone (targeted treatment of abnormal electrical pathways in the heart using intense heat or cold). The regions of the heart responsible for the arrhythmia are treated using two different approaches; an electrophysiologist (cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm abnormalities) treats the areas that are reachable via a catheter advanced to the heart through a blood vessel, while a cardiac surgeon treats other areas of the heart that are not easily treated by electrophysiology. This approach has been shown to be highly effective for people with persistent atrial fibrillation.
Why Choose Us
NewYork-Presbyterian Queens is the only hospital in Queens offering surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation and one of only a few in the New York City metropolitan area performing the hybrid convergent procedure. When you come to us for your care, we'll carefully evaluate your heart and connect you with the most appropriate therapies to ease your symptoms and improve your health. Call us today to make an appointment.