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Maze procedure

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Darek Find out more about Darek
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  • Maze procedure

    Has anyone had a maze procedure performed on them here? It turns out that my persistant aatrial flutter is caused by an enlarged left atrium (thanks to HCM) and two ablations have failed thusfar. I cannot live with this flutter and I read where a Maze procedure has great success rates in both elimating flutter as well as decreading the size of the left atrium.

  • #2
    Re: Maze procedure

    There are a few people here who've had mazes and I'm sure they'll find your post or you can use the Search function (the link is in between New Posts and Quick Links on the red link bar) to find all the posts about mazes, which you would probably find very helpful.

    i am in atrial fibrillation and talked to three surgeons this year about having a maze done on myself. please PM me for more info. you don't say where you are. i talked to doctors in MN, VA, and IL.

    I have never had an ablation and i considered both the mini-maze (via catheter) and the complete maze via open heart surgery. i talked to guys who do them via laser and one who does cut & sew (the older technique).

    i decided not to have anything done because nothing is going to let me go off of coumadin and the success rate is about 80% for the full maze. but that is a short term number. they can't say if you will be afib-free five years later. that 80% is based on ten mazes done on HCM patients at Cleveland over the last five years. there is a paper floating around somewhere about it.

    You need to understand that there is a VAST difference between a Maze on someone who only has afib/flutter and someone who has HCM with afib/flutter. it is much harder with HCM b/c the HCM heart muscle does not want to retain normal rhythm because it is not smooth like it is supposed to be.

    The surgeon who does about two Mazes a week (more than anyone else in the country) has only done three HCM mazes TOTAL. Mazes on HCMers are usually done in conjunction with a myectomy as well.

    Every case of HCM is different, so you really need to see a couple of surgeons and get their opinions on YOUR heart. FYI: The Mayo Clinic thinks my heart is very interesting, even for an HCM heart. So the right decision for me is not necessarily the right decision for you.

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    • #3
      Re: Maze procedure

      Thanks for the information. I didn't realize so few procedures were done with folks with HCM. I read where the Maze can actually shrink the size of the left atrium so I thought that would me not go into flutter so much.

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      • #4
        Re: Maze procedure

        it doesn't "shrink," as i understand it. however, the action of being in afib/flutter does force the atria to expand over time, so being in normal rhythm will prevent your atria from getting bigger. in addition, in a traditional cut & sew maze, they would probably end up making the atrium smaller just by virtue of the technique. they also cut out something called the left atrial appendange which is a little nook where 90% of all clots form in the heart.

        it is easier to maintain normal rhythm when the atrium is the right size, however, that is not a guarantee since the muscle can never be made smooth (unless some gene therapy in the way way way distant future comes through--for now it is just a hope).

        ss

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        • #5
          Re: Maze procedure

          Darek,

          I have had three radio-frequency ablations due to a-fib/flutter. I also have HCM. I have now been a-fib/flutter free for over a year. What a great feeling. I know that it may not be the answer in the long run; but am happy for the results I've had thus far. My myectomy and all three ablations were done at The Cleveland Clinic. Do the research, ask the questions, then make the decision that is right for you. Good luck.
          Dorothy

          Diagnosed 1996, Myectomy Aug. 2000, 3 Radio-frequency ablations for a-fibs 2003-2005.

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