Frequently Asked Questions about CryoMaze

Who is a candidate for the CryoMaze procedure?

Potential candidates include:

  • Any patient with atrial fibrillation who cannot take blood thinner or who wishes to avoid the risk of bleeding and inconvenience associated with blood thinner
  • Patients in whom the symptoms of atrial fibrillation (fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations) are not adequately relieved with medical therapy
  • Patients with atrial fibrillation requiring coronary bypass surgery or heart valve surgery

What is the risk of the CryoMaze procedure?

The operative mortality for an isolated Maze procedure is 0.5-1.0%.

Is it necessary to split the breastbone to do the CryoMaze procedure?

Surgeons at the University of Maryland Heart Center have successfully performed the CryoMaze procedure using a videoscopic keyhole approach. This minimally invasive procedure is performed through a 2-inch incision on the right side of the chest. Patients can return to regular activities within 3 weeks, rather than the traditional 8-10 weeks after a more traditional incision.

How long does the operation take?

The actual CryoMaze operation can be done in approximately 45 minutes. Total time in the operating room would be about 3 hours.

What is the average length of hospital stay after the CryoMaze procedure?

Most patients are hospitalized about 4 to 5 days after the CryoMaze procedure. When you leave the hospital, you will be able to walk (including stairs) and perform all normal activities. Patients are asked to refrain from lifting heavy weights and driving for one month after surgery.

To be evaluated for the CryoMaze procedure, or to refer a patient, please call 410-328-5842.

This page was last updated: February 4, 2014

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