Catheter ablation is an effective
treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF). However, over long-term follow-up, it is becoming clear that AF often recurs and repeat ablation is required. With the goal of improving efficacy,
particularly in those patients with risk factors for poor outcomes using a
standard endocardial ablation technique, surgical epicardial ablation has
emerged as an alternative methodology.
Since its advent in the 1980s, surgical ablation techniques have
continued to evolve. New ablation tools make a minimally invasive surgical approach
possible. And most recently, we have seen the development of a hybrid
(epicardial and endocardial) approach to AF ablation, which can draw upon the
advantages of both options.
Credits: Anil K Gehi; Andy C. Kiser; J. Paul Mounsey