Performed on a beating heart, Minimaze is a minimally invasive procedure during which the cardiac surgeon destroys a small amount of abnormal tissue thought to be the source of atrial fibrillation. The destroyed tissue can no longer generate or conduct electrical impulses, the abnormal signal is disrupted, and the heart resumes its normal rhythm.
The Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute at Sacred Heart Medical Center has been successfully performing Minimaze procedures since 2005, when it became one of only three formal physician training sites for the procedure in the United States.
Cardiovascular surgeon David Duke, MD, and James McClelland, MD, a cardiologist with a specialty in electrophysiology, together perform the Minimaze procedures at the Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute. This team approach, as well as the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, contribute to long-term success for most patients with atrial fibrillation.
"Previous procedures to correct irregular heartbeat have not been nearly as effective in part because they were either all about surgery or all about electrophysiology," Dr. McClelland said. "It is rare to find a cardiologist in the operating room, but the Minimaze combines both skill sets and it is a huge benefit to the patient."
Patient Criteria for Minimaze Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation
- Age 35-75
- History of several failed antiarrhythmics
- No prior cardiovascular surgery
- Paroxysmal AF, with symptoms
- Normal or nearly normal left atrial size
- Normal or nearly normal ejection fraction
- No need for other cardiac surgery
- Normal body habitus