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New Atrial Fibrillation Surgery Improves Results
Date:4/21/2008

ect atrial fibrillation -- one receiving Cox-Maze procedures with a box lesion and one without it. The box lesion group had a 48 percent lower occurrence of atrial flutter and fibrillation in the first weeks following surgery. These patients also had shorter hospital stays -- nine days on average versus 11 days.

Three months after surgery, only 5 percent of patients with the box lesion showed signs of atrial fibrillation, compared with 15 percent of the patients receiving the standard procedure. All patients in the box lesion group were free from atrial fibrillation after six months, compared with 90 percent of the other group, the researchers said.

More than 2 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation, which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and stroke. Medications can control the abnormal heart rhythms in some patients, as well as the risk of clotting, but only surgery can cure the disorder.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about atrial fibrillation.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Washington University in St. Louis, news release, April 7, 2008


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