Surgery for lone atrial fibrillation: Present state-of-the-art

Jeanne Shen, Marci Bailey, Ralph J. Damiano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


For 2 decades, the cut-and-sew Cox-Maze III procedure was the gold standard for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) and proved to be effective at curing lone AF and preventing its most dreaded complication, stroke. However, this procedure was not widely adopted because of its complexity and technical difficulty. During the past 5 to 10 years, the introduction of new ablation technology has led to the development of the Cox-Maze IV procedure, as well as, more limited lesion sets, with the ultimate goal of performing a minimally invasive lesion set on the beating heart, without the need for cardiopulmonary bypass. This review summarizes the current state of the art and future directions in the surgical treatment of lone AF. The hope is that as we learn more about the mechanisms of AF and develop preoperative diagnostic technologies capable of precisely locating the areas responsible for AF, it will become possible to tailor specific lesion sets and ablation modalities to individual patients, making the surgical treatment of lone AF available to a larger population of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalInnovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cox-maze procedure.


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