Maze permutations during minimally invasive mitral valve surgery
Surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation is most frequently done in the concomitant setting, and most commonly with mitral valve surgery. Minimally invasive surgical techniques for the treatment of atrial fibrillation have developed contemporaneously with techniques for minimally invasive mitral valve surgery. As in traditional surgery for atrial fibrillation, there are many different permutations of ablations for the less invasive approaches. Lesion sets can vary from simple pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) to full bi-atrial lesions that completely reproduce the traditional cut-and-sew Cox Maze III procedure with variable efficacy in restoring sinus rhythm. Additionally, treatment of the atrial appendage can be done through minimally invasive approaches without any ablation at all in an attempt to mitigate the risk of stroke. Finally, hybrid procedures combining minimally invasive surgery and catheter-based ablation are being developed that might augment surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation at the time of minimally invasive mitral valve repair. These various permutations and their results are reviewed.