The Cox-Maze procedure corrects atrial fibrillation in 90% of patients, and successful operation restores sinus rhythm, thereby reducing risks of thromboembolism and anticoagulant-associated hemorrhage. Symptoms such as palpitation and fatigability also improve with restoration of atrioventricular synchrony. At the Mayo Clinic, 221 Cox-Maze procedures were performed from March 1993 through March 1999. Over 75% of patients had associated cardiac disease and concomitant operations. Overall, early mortality was 1.4%, and the incidence of postoperative pacemaker implantation was 3.2%. Limiting incisions to the right atrium simplifies the operation for patients who primarily have tricuspid valve disease, and in early follow-up, outcome appeared to be as good as that achieved with biatrial incisions. The Cox-Maze procedure has proved particularly useful for patients with preoperative atrial fibrillation who require valvuloplasty for acquired mitral valve regurgitation; 87 patients have had this combined procedure, and there have been no early deaths. Further, our experience indicates that ventricular dysfunction is not a contraindication for operation and that restoration of sinus rhythm after the Cox-Maze procedure improves left ventricular ejection fraction in most patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine