Durnig the past decades there has been a consistent evolution of both surgical and catheter-based techniques for the treatment of stand-alone atrial fibrillation as alternatives or in combination with anti-arrhythmic drugs. Transcatheter ablation has significantly improved outcomes, despite often requiring multiple procedures and with limited success rates especially in presence of persistent atrial fibrillation. Surgical procedures have dramatically evolved from the original cut-and-sew Maze Operation, allowing nowadays for closed-chest epicardial ablations on the beating heart.
Recently, the concept of a close collaboration between the cardiac surgeon and the electrophysiologist has emerged as an intriguing option in order to overcome the drawbacks and suboptimal results of both techniques; therefore the hybrid approach has been proposed as a potentially more successful strategy, allowing for a patient-tailored therapeutical approach.
We reviewed the recent advancements both from the transcatheter and surgical standpoint, with a peculiar focus on the current option to merge both techniques along with an up-to-date review of the preliminary clinical experiences with the hybrid treatment (surgical and transcatheter) of stand-alone atrial fibrillation.
Credits: Antonio Curnis, MD; Gianluigi Bisleri, MD; Luca Bontempi, MD; Francesca Salghetti, MD; Manuel Cerini, MD; Alessandro Lipari, MD; Carlo Pagnoni, MD; Francesca Vassanelli, MD; Claudio Muneretto, MD