mini-maze procedureA procedure used to manage atrial fibrillation; the term maze refers to the maze-like incisions made in the atria, which eliminate AF as the resulting scars block abnormal (atrial macroreentry) electrical circuits. The procedure prevents AF in 90% of patients and preserves sinus rhythm; post-surgical morbidity and mortality of the classic procedure is relatively high.
All of the maze procedures consist of creating long and complex linear lesions in both atria to channel impulses along narrow pathways. Traditionally, maze and smaller mini-maze procedures require cutting and an endocardial approach; more recently, some permutations have included epicardial approach, beating heart procedures and microwave or radiofrequency ablation (RFA). The current gold standard is epicardial, RFA and beating heart, all of which reduce operative time, mortality and morbidity, and time to patient discharge.