Original Article

Stand-alone surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation: a novel bilateral double-port approach

Huiming Guo, Hongkun Qing, Yuyuan Zhang, Jian Liu, Zhao Chen, Zhongming Cao, Jindong Xu, Huanlei Huang, Yumei Xue, Xianzhang Zhan, Fangzhou Liu, Shulin Wu, Jian Zhuang


Background: To explore an effective, reproducible and less invasive surgical approach for lone atrial fibrillation (AF).
Methods: A modified “mini-maze” including pulmonary vein isolation (PVI), box-lesion and left atrial appendage (LAA) resection was applied for AF patients in our center from January 2016 to June 2017. A 2.5 cm thoracotomy extended with tissue retractor was made as working port in the fourth intercostal space on each anterior side of the chest. The thoracoscope was inserted in another port lateral to main port for observing. During PVI, the tip of the clamp could be adjusted to reach as superior as the roof of left atrium for transmural lesions. The floor line was made by linear ablation pen. The LAA was removed by stapler before PVI for better exposure of the roof.
Results: This modified “mini-maze” was successfully completed in 53 non-paroxysmal AF patients except 1 was converted to sternotomy due to intraoperative hemorrhage. All patients recovered uneventfully. Seven-day Holter was accessed in 3, 6 and 12 months respectively in all patients. The mean follow-up was 14 (range, 3–30) months. Sinus rhythm was achieved in 48.1%, 64.8% before discharge and 3 months after surgery respectively, Twenty-eight patients in sinus rhythm or not, underwent catheter mapping and ablation three months after the operation to conform the lesion set made by this procedure. Sinus rhythm reached 87.0% after subsequent catheter ablation without any anti-arrhythmia treatment at 12 months. All patients survived without stroke, hemorrhage and pulmonary vein stenosis.
Conclusions: Modified “mini-maze” procedure is safe, less invasive and highly reproducible for lone AF. Sequential hybrid procedure will shape the treatment of non-paroxysmal AF.

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