Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a rapid, irregular heartbeat that can produce significant symptoms and lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure. The HealthEast Heart Care team offers comprehensive treatment options for patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. In addition to blood thinner management, your doctor may offer medical treatment or leading edge procedures to treat AF. Procedural options for treatment of AF include the surgical Maze procedure, catheter based ablation and left atrial appendage closure (WATCHMAN™ Device).
The Maze procedure is performed during open heart surgery and helps relieve atrial fibrillation. It gets its name from the ablation lines made in the upper chambers of the heart during the procedure that look like a maze. The procedure is 80 percent effective in maintaining a normal rhythm in patients with sporadic AF. Patients with chronic AF have a 60 percent response rate.
Diagrams of the heart
This procedure is performed by guiding a catheter into the heart through a small tube inserted in the leg to ablate (destroy) abnormal heart signals. Radiofrequency energy can be delivered through pressure sensing catheters to heat abnormal heart tissue, or the tissue can be frozen using a cryoballoon catheter. This procedure is 85 percent effective in maintaining a normal rhythm in patients with sporadic AF. Patients with chronic AF have a 60 percent response rate.
Tools for catheter ablation
Many patients with AF have a substantially increased risk of having a stroke. Blood-thinning therapy with warfarin or another, newer medication to reduce stroke risk is not well-tolerated by some patients. Left atrial appendage occlusion (closure) with the WATCHMAN™ Device is a newly approved procedural alternative for stroke risk reduction in some patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. This device is inserted by catheter and is designed to permanently close the left atrial appendage, the source for the majority of stroke-causing blood clots in AF.
HealthEast is proud to be the first health system in the Twin Cities to offer this important new therapy to reduce risk of stroke.
Contact Cardiac Surgical Services
For HealthEast Cardiac Surgical Services and appointments, call
Stacey Lindgren, Clinic Coordinator: 651-232-4500
Monday - Friday, 7:30 am to 4 pm
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