Concomitant atrial fibrillation ablation in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass and cardiac valve surgery

Andrei Churyla*, Anand Desai, Jane Kruse, James Cox, Patrick McCarthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) in conjunction with other cardiac surgery is now a class I guideline recommendation. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the concomitant surgical ablation of AF can be performed safely and effectively during valve and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) resulting in a return to sinus rhythm postoperatively and improved long-term results. However, the surgical ablation of AF at the time of other cardiac surgery is performed less often than it should be, especially in patients undergoing CABG and aortic valve surgery. Randomized-controlled trials designed to determine the effect of treating AF concomitantly with other cardiac surgical procedures have lacked long-term follow up, but multiple, large observational studies have demonstrated an improved quality of life, a decrease in long-term strokes, and improved late survival in patients who undergo AF ablation. However, the potential survival benefit of concomitant AF ablation was not addressed by either the Society of Thoracic Surgery or American Association for Thoracic Surgery guideline committees. Left atrial appendage closure is an important part of the surgical ablation of AF as it significantly reduces the long-term risk of stroke following cardiac surgery and improves the success of AF treatment. In this study, we update the electrophysiology and surgical community on the recommended surgical techniques for AF ablation and its effect on perioperative morbidity, perioperative mortality, as well as its long-term effects on stroke, quality of life, and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2172-2178
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • atrial fibrillation
  • left atrial appendage
  • maze procedure
  • surgical ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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