Cox Maze Procedure

In 1991 Cox and colleagues originally described a procedure that would interrupt re-entry electrical activity in the atria; this technique was based on the concept of a maze and was named the “maze procedure”.  Since that original publication, numerous modifications to the initial ablation technique have been made. Perhaps the most significant modification to the technique is replacement of the original cut-and-sew technique with mostly ablation tools (either freezing or radiofrequency sources that create ablation areas). The success of the maze procedure in curing atrial fibrillation is reported as anywhere from 77% to 99%. The procedure has also clearly reduced the incidence of stroke.

The maze procedure can be performed in isolation, but is usually performed in conjunction with another cardiac surgical procedure, such as a valve repair or coronary artery bypass.