There's a new surgery to correct irregular heart rhythms and it's less invasive than open heart surgery. It also appears to have a higher success rate. It's called "mini-maze" surgery.
Here's how it works: Surgeons make an incision between the ribs, and with the help of a fiber optic camera, they guide a special instrument that fits around the heart's atrium. The device then destroys a small amount of tissue in the area where the abnormal electrical pulses originate, restoring normal heart rhythms.
"Patients are then able to be maintained in sinus rhythms without the use of medication, and in conjunction, with this electrical isolation, we remove the atrial appendage. As such, the risk of stroke is significantly reduced," says Dr. Bryan Steinberg, with Washington Adventist Hospital.
"No physical therapy is required, so I'm very, very happy with the progress I'm making. I feel confident that this procedure has worked for me," says Frances Amey, a mini-maze patient.
Here's the best news. This medical breakthrough is available here in Lubbock at the Heart Hospital and Covenant Health Systems.
So, if you're bothered by an abnormal heart rhythm, you might be a good candidate for this new procedure. Studies indicate the success rate is about 90 to 95 percent.