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ISRN Cardiology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 606324, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/606324
Review Article

Minimally Invasive Surgical Therapies for Atrial Fibrillation

1Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, Lawson Health Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
2Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, London Health Sciences Centre, B6-106 University Hospital, 339 Windermere Road, London, ON, Canada N6A 5A5

Received 8 February 2012; Accepted 4 March 2012

Academic Editors: R. Lazzara and E. Rodriguez

Copyright © 2012 Yoshitsugu Nakamura et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia and is associated with significant risks of thromboembolism, stroke, congestive heart failure, and death. There have been major advances in the management of atrial fibrillation including pharmacologic therapies, antithrombotic therapies, and ablation techniques. Surgery for atrial fibrillation, including both concomitant and stand-alone interventions, is an effective therapy to restore sinus rhythm. Minimally invasive surgical ablation is an emerging field that aims for the superior results of the traditional Cox-Maze procedure through a less invasive operation with lower morbidity, quicker recovery, and improved patient satisfaction. These novel techniques utilize endoscopic or minithoracotomy approaches with various energy sources to achieve electrical isolation of the pulmonary veins in addition to other ablation lines. We review advancements in minimally invasive techniques for atrial fibrillation surgery, including management of the left atrial appendage.