Navigation Links
Northwestern Memorial's Heart Center Pioneers Minimally Invasive Surgery That Corrects Irregular Heart Beat

Experts combine traditional surgery procedures for a minimally invasive surgical option to treat atrial fibrillation

CHICAGO, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Atrial fibrillation, a type of abnormal heartbeat, affects approximately 180,000 Chicagoans and upwards of 6 million people in the United States. While this condition can be managed with medication, the only way to cure atrial fibrillation is through surgical intervention, which until recently required a large incision in the chest, putting the heart on bypass and an average six - eight week recovery time. Thanks to a new approach that combines techniques from two existing procedures, experts at Northwestern Memorial's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute have pioneered a way to offer patients a minimally invasive treatment for atrial fibrillation called Hybrid Maze. Northwestern Memorial is currently the only center in the United States and one of only a handful worldwide with the capabilities to offer the Hybrid Maze procedure to patients.

During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two small upper chambers, called the atria, quiver instead of beating effectively. As a result, blood isn't pumped completely out of the atria and may pool and clot, which can transfer to the brain and become lodged, resulting in a stroke. Atrial fibrillation is the second leading cause of stroke, and the likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation increases with age. Due to the risk associated between atrial fibrillation and stroke, it's very important for individuals suffering from atrial fibrillation to treat the condition.

Dr. Richard Lee, surgical director of Northwestern Memorial's Center for Atrial Fibrillation, has been investigating less invasive ways to treat atrial fibrillation for years. "The Maze procedure with its high cure rate of atrial fibrillation is well known to patients, but they wanted a less invasive surgical option," commented Dr. Lee. Minimally invasive procedures allow for a faster recovery, shorter length of stay in the hospital, lower infection rates, and less trauma than traditional cardiac surgery. Together with Jeffrey J. Goldberger, MD, director of Cardiac Electrophysiology and medical director of the Center for Atrial Fibrillation, Dr. Lee has pioneered a minimally invasive Hybrid Maze procedure which is done in two stages.

"It is through the strength of each procedure and a multidisciplinary team of outstanding clinicians that we offer a two-tiered approach to our patients," states Dr. Goldberger. "The electrophysiologists and cardiac surgeons at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute spend time getting to know each patient and understand the specific characteristics of their atrial fibrillation."

Stage I

Abnormal electrical signals around the pulmonary veins and in the heart are thought to be the cause atrial fibrillation. During Stage I of the Hybrid Maze, small incisions are made on the sides of the chest to access and place scar lines around the pulmonary veins. A tiny camera is inserted through one of the small incisions which gives the cardiac surgeon a clear view of the veins and eliminates the need for the large incision in the traditional Maze procedure. The heart is beating during the procedure, as opposed to the traditional Maze where the heart would be on bypass. The scar lines, made via an energy source such as radiofrequency, cryo, laser, ultrasound, and microwave, isolate abnormal electrical signals that cause atrial fibrillation and re-route the path of the electrical signals. After Stage I, the patient returns home and is monitored for approximately one month to see if the atrial fibrillation returns. Stage I can be up to 90 percent effective for certain types of atrial fibrillation. Patients with other types of atrial fibrillation may require Stage II.

Stage II

For Stage II patients undergo catheter ablation, which is a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment that involves inserting several catheters, or tubes, into the heart and locating the abnormal electrical signals causing the atrial fibrillation. Once found, the pathway is destroyed with energy sources similar to those used in Stage I of the Hybrid Maze. Stage II targets areas of the heart that cannot be reached from the outside of the heart. For more information on the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, visit

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the country's premier academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern Memorial and its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry have 897 beds along with 1,424 affiliated physicians and 6,464 employees. Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing state-of-the-art patient care and exemplary clinical and surgical advancements in the areas of cardiothoracic and vascular care, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, organ and bone marrow transplantation, and women's health.

Northwestern Memorial received the prestigious 2005 National Quality Health Care Award and is listed in eight specialties in U.S. News & World Report's 2007 rankings for "America's Best Hospitals." For seven years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the nation's "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine and has been chosen by Chicagoans for more than a decade as their "most preferred hospital" according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey. Northwestern Memorial carries the Magnet status designation in nursing, the highest recognition possible for patient care and nursing excellence.


SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Royalty Pharma Acquires a Portion of Northwestern Universitys Royalty Interest in Lyrica(R) for $700 Million
2. Northwestern University and ACORN Commence National Enrollment for Metastatic Breast Cancer Study
3. Northwestern exposing most deadly infectious diseases in 3-D
4. Northwestern Memorial Hospital Completes Move Into Its New Prentice Womens Hospital
5. Physician Team at Northwestern Memorial Performs Rare Oral Gallbladder Removal
6. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Wins Award For Patient Safety
7. New Survey Suggests Confusion, Lack of Awareness About Heart Failure Could Be Preventing Critical Early Detection and Treatment
8. New Survey Shows African-Americans Are Concerned With Heart Health but Unaware of Link to Brain Health
9. MedCath Plans 60-bed Expansion at TexSAn Heart Hospital
10. Doctors uncertain about approaches to care for heart failure patients, SLU study finds
11. Dangerous duo: Hostility plus depression elevates risk for heart disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... The men and women on this ... in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment to their community ... industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. , Becker's Hospital ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer ... incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product ... Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive not only ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the ... and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and ... offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . These fields, ... 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... a new set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly ... options. These classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Linden Care, LLC, a retail ... outcomes for patients suffering from chronic pain, said today ... Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from unilaterally ... --> --> The ... its legal options. --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s largest ... dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil at ... Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together for ... solutions designed to help any practice or laboratory enter ... for a schedule of experts appearing at the Pavilion. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: