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Hi there. I was reading a lot about atrial fibrillation because my mom was diagnosed with it. I just don't know how to explain her current condition at the moment. She is 67 years old and she is feeling OK, but she has some changes in her health generally. Yesterday, doctor told her that she needs to do maze procedure for atrial fibrillation. He tried to explain how this procedure works and what she can expect, but I am really curious about one thing - How maze procedure for atrial fibrillation got its name? Let me know something about it. 

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Hey there dear Guest. I don’t know how it got its name but I assume that it got its name according to the steps of the procedure.  Look, the maze procedure is a surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation. It can also be called a surgical ablation and in this procedure the surgeon can use small incisions, radio waves, freezing, or microwave or ultrasound energy to create scar tissue. The scar tissue, which does not conduct electrical activity, blocks the abnormal electrical signals causing the arrhythmia. The scar tissue directs electric signals through a controlled path, or maze, to the lower heart chambers. It is similar to the maze I assume, when he starts this procedure. Maybe that is the reason, who knows. 

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Hi there Guest,

Couch Potato explained it quite well for you there, that is how the procedure got its name. 

The maze procedure can be done in different ways. It may be done through small cuts in the chest, or it may be done during open-heart surgery. The maze procedure may be done if a person is having another heart surgery, such as coronary artery bypass and valve repair or replacement.

If your mom can make a choice between these two procedures, I would recommend the one with the small cuts in the chest, since it is a lot easier to recover from.

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Hey there guys,

There is no better explanation for this rather than the one that Couch Potato gave you above.

The maze procedure has good long term results for treating atrial fibrillation. It can stop atrial fibrillation in about 9 people out of 10. Your mom may need to take heart rhythm medicine (antiarrhythmics) after the procedure.

There are some risks that this procedure carries, like all other procedures, and these are quite similar to the risks of any heart surgery that uses a heart-lung bypass machine. These include bleeding, infection, stroke, pneumonia, heart attack, new arrhythmias, or a need to have a pacemaker implanted.

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Hey Guest,

I would definitely suggest her to go with the other option rather than with an open heart procedure as well.

This procedure with some small cuts in her chest is definitely better. It will leave less noticeable scars, and it can cause way lesser complications than the open heart surgery would. However, if the situation is really serious, she might really have to undergo an open heart surgery. The recovery is really hard after this one so you have to be there for your mom and show her your support. It gets so hard that some people never even recover fully.

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Hey everyone. Well, to be honest I was thinking that this is something more complicated than this. I believed that there is some other reason why this procedure is called maze procedure. I couldn't even imagine that this can be that easy to explain lol. Now, the next thing that I really want to know is - is this procedure something that it is hard and uncomfortable for the patient? Does patient get better immediately or there is some recovery process for it? Have you ever had this procedure? Thank you very much everyone.

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Hey there. First thank you guys, but I have tried to explain this in the best way that I know. I was reading a lot about it and I believe that this is the best explanation that I can give to someone, because I understand it really good. Now, about your other questions - I think that it is not that complicated procedure and that you don't need a lot to get recover from it. I believe that it is uncomfortable, I can't tell for sure, but I think that any of those procedure is comfortable to someone. I hope that it won't be complicated for you. Good luck.
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All heart procedures require a lot of time to recover from, you should know that.

Your mom has two options which others already told you about. The second option is an open heart surgery, which is not so safe, I mean, it is if it is done by an expert, but you can still expect a lot of complications there. If the surgery goes as planned, the recovery process is quite long. There is actually a special rehab program for people who had heart surgeries called a cardiac rehabilitation. It lasts for a couple of months and it helps people recover faster.

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