Post- TT Maze procedure (trans-thoracoscopic Maze ablation)

Posted by jenrev @jenrev, Nov 8 11:51am

Hello to all. I had this procedure done two weeks ago at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. I am recovering and was wondering if anyone in this forum has had this procedure and what it was like for them. I had the "less invasive" version of the Maze; instead of a median sternotomy, the surgeon accessed my heart through several "keyholes" in my chest. I resorted to this procedure after several prior ablations and medication combos, none of which worked long-term to treat my longstanding, drug-resistant A-Fib and atrial ectopics. I will not know for 1-2 months whether the treatment has eliminated the arrhythmias.

I have not been able to find anyone else out there who has been through this procedure. Thanks in advance.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Heart Rhythm Conditions Support Group.

I have been reading about this procedure. It seems to be statistically very successful for people in your situation. Please keep us posted about your progress.

I saw pictures of this procedure, and read the description. I realize you were out cold, but you know that it says you have to be on a heart/lung machine while they do this? What side effects do you feel now? Tell me about recovery….just the incisions? Internal healing too?

I wish you speedy recovery and an end to Afib!


Hello, and thanks for the good wishes!
For the thoracoscopic Maze, a heart-lung machine is not needed. I believe that's only needed for the full (sternotomy) procedure. They did sequentially deflate and reinflate my lungs to provide access.

I have several "keyhole" incisions that are healing well. However, the arrhythmias continue as the inflamed and injured heart tissue heals. I realize that I am only two weeks out from the surgery, but of course I am anxious for relief. Patience is the order of the day. They say it takes 3-8 weeks to feel fully recovered and have energy back.

Looking forward to a good outcome.


Thought I would post an update at the 4-week mark after my TT Maze procedure. I am definitely doing better! Objectively, this is the longest I have gone without an a-fib episode in years. I am still having some hours-long episodes of atrial ectopics (PACs) but believe those will continue to diminish. My energy is mostly returned and incisions mostly healed. I am glad I took the risk and made the effort to have this procedure. It has given me hope for relief from a-fib – if not permanently so, at least for a time. I would urge others who have been in the long-term arrhythmia battle to look into this possibility, too.

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