Microwave Maze Procedure
The Maze Procedure
The Maze Procedure is done to stop atrial
fibrillation (A-Fib), an abnormal heart
rhythm. The signals that cause a-fib come
from an area at the top of the heart. A
catheter is used to burn a path around the top
of the heart, and when it heals, a scar forms.
This scar stops the electrical signals that
cause the heart to beat in an a-fib rhythm.
This can be done alone as a minimally
invasive surgery or with a planned open
In minimally invasive surgery, two small
cuts are made in the side of the chest, below
the arm pit.
In planned open heart surgery a cut is made
along your sternum (breastbone)
This may be helpful for patients who:
ξ Have not had open heart surgery in
ξ Do not have a clot in one of the
chambers of their heart. (This can be
seen on an echocardiogram.)
ξ Take medicine that does not help or
fix their A-fib.
ξ Have allergies or side effects to
ξ Are not able to take blood thinners.
Length of Surgery
This can vary from patient to patient.
Minimally invasive surgery may take 2 to 4
hours. Open heart surgery varies based on
the other procedures.
After Surgery You Can Expect To:
ξ Go to the cardiac surgery unit.
ξ Be in the hospital for 1-2 days.
ξ Have a tube (chest tube) coming out
near the incision in both of the sides
of your chest. These tubes help to
keep the lungs inflated. They will be
removed the first day.
ξ Be given oxygen through the nose.
ξ Have intravenous (IV) lines, a blood
pressure cuff, and monitor attached
ξ Take medicines to control your heart
rhythm. You may also take
medicines to thin your blood. You
may have been on these before
Going Home You Can Expect To:
ξ Have a bandage over your chest
wounds for a day or two. Your nurse
will teach you how to care for these.
Then the wounds will be open to air.
ξ Not be able to drive for 2 weeks for
the minimally invasive surgery and 6
weeks for the type with open heart
surgery. You will not be able to
drive if you are taking pain
ξ Not be able to lift heavy objects for 3
ξ Take medicine to control your A-fib.
Your doctor will tell you to stop
taking this once your heart converts
to a normal rhythm.
Being active will help build strength and
prevent complications. Walking and arm
exercises are encouraged. Many patients are
in A-fib after surgery. This should convert
to a normal heart rhythm within 6 months.
You will follow-up with both your cardiologist and the cardiac surgeon.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 7/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6510