Ablation Technology for the Surgical Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

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The Cox maze procedure for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation has been simplified from its original cut-and-sew technique. Various energy sources now exist which create linear lines of ablation that can be used to replace the original incisions, greatly facilitating the surgical approach. This review article describes the anatomy of the atria that must be considered in choosing a successful energy source. Furthermore the device characteristics, safety profile, mechanism of tissue injury, and ability to create transmural lesions of the various energy sources that have been used in the Cox maze procedure, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each device is discussed.

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