High-energy clamp used in a-fib surgery

Oct 10, 2006

U.S. surgeons say they're helping start a new era in the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation by using a high-energy device instead of a scalpel.

Washington University School of Medicine surgeons say they are using radiofrequency devices to greatly shorten the surgery and make it significantly easier to perform.

"Because of the devices, the procedure -- called the Cox-Maze procedure -- has gone from an operation that hardly anyone was doing to one that (up to) 90 percent of U.S. heart surgeons are now performing," said Dr. Ralph Damiano Jr., chief of cardiac surgery at the school.

For some patients, medications can control the abnormal heart rhythms produced by atrial fibrillation, but they do not cure the disorder. The Cox-Maze procedure has a greater than 90 percent cure rate.

The radiofrequency devices deliver high-energy waves, quickly creating scars or ablations, which replace most of the complex incisions required by the Cox-Maze procedure. The ablations disrupt the atria's abnormal electrical activity and normalize heart rhythm.

The procedure reduces the time needed for the operation from more than 90 minutes to about 30 minutes.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: ER doctors stress need for good communications with police

Related Stories

South American parrot in trouble: researchers

1 hour ago

A South American parrot with a wine-colored chest is in deep trouble, with its population down to some 3,000 and a habitat reduced to a speck of what it once was, researchers said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

ER doctors stress need for good communications with police

10 hours ago

A good working relationship with police is essential for the smooth operation of a busy Emergency Department. Police are in and out of EDs regularly, supporting EMS, transporting patients and helping to provide a safe environment ...

AMA: avoiding distress in medical school

May 22, 2015

(HealthDay)—Understanding the key drivers underlying medical students' distress can help address the issues and enhance student well-being, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

European court to rule on right-to-die case

May 21, 2015

Europe's human rights court will on June 5 rule on whether a man in a vegetative state can be taken off life support, a case that has ignited a fierce euthanasia debate in France, a spokesman said Thursday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.