Patients with an arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation (also called A-fib) have a problem with the electrical signal that makes the heart pump.

The signal travels erratically through the heart muscle, causing the upper chambers (atria) to quiver instead of contract.

When medications or mild electrical shocks (cardioversion) fail to stop the problem, our doctors may recommend an operation to straighten the electrical pathway.

Some centers still do that by making tiny cuts in the heart, an approach known as the maze procedure. But we offer a much less invasive approach called CryoMaze, using heat or extreme cold.

CryoMaze Ablation at the University of Maryland

At the University of Maryland Heart and Vascular Center, we offer an update to the maze procedure for atrial fibrillation: substituting extreme cold (cryotherapy) for surgical cuts.

For some patients we can do this with a minimally invasive approach. At times, we can also combine the operation with another treatment called catheter ablation, for a hybrid procedure. This relies on a close partnership between our specialized cardiologists and our heart surgeons.