Your heartbeat is controlled by your heart’s electrical system. An electrical signal spreads from the top chambers of your heart to the bottom chambers. This triggers a normal heartbeat and blood is then pumped out of the heart to the rest of the body. Abnormalities of the heart’s electrical system can result in abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Examples of abnormal heart rhythms include supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart arrhythmia. It is characterized by a rapid irregular, inefficient, heartbeat. Common symptoms of atrial fibrillation may include palpitations, shortness of breath, and anxiety. Atrial fibrillation may be controlled with medication or may require catheter based (see electrophysiology) or surgical intervention.
Surgical Ablation (Heart Ablation Procedure)
Surgical Atrial fibrillation ablation or “Maze Procedure”, may be combined with other cardiac procedures or as a stand-alone procedure. Dr. Molloy, a published expert in minimally invasive Atrial fibrillation ablation, utilizes Cryo (freezing) technology as well as radio frequency energy to interrupt the electrical impulses causing atrial fibrillation. A minimally invasive robotic assisted approach is utilized to achieve excellent outcomes in both standalone and combined procedures.
Candidates for standalone surgical atrial fibrillation ablation include patients who have failed catheter-based ablation and patients with chronic atrial fibrillation who are not generally good candidates for catheter ablation. Hospital stay averages 3 days and success ranges from 80 to 95% depending on patient specific factors.