Introduction: Surgical management of atrial fibrillation (AF) is a well-established method of preventing complications and late mortality in patients presenting with AF before mitral valve (MV) surgery. However, despite a substantial body of evidence and a Class I recommendation to apply surgical ablation (SA) concomitant to MV surgery, the utilization of SA remains low. Methods: In this study, we sought to summarize the current trends in the SA of AF during MV surgery and update the medical community on its advantages, including perioperative mortality and morbidity, freedom from AF, as well as long-term survival and stroke rates. Results: The data indicate that SA can be added with no increased risk (and perhaps a reduction in perioperative risk) and improved late survival compared to patients with AF left untreated during MV surgery. Discussion: Inconsistent application of SA may be related to inaccurate perceptions regarding the complexity of the procedure itself, extended cross-clamp and bypass times with attendant increased risks, views that it is ineffective, and increased need for an early pacemaker. Conclusion: Education in the proper performance of SA, including careful placement of the lesions and attainment of the full transmural effect, contributes to procedure success. Propagating the safety and positive outcomes may also address the concerns.
- atrial fibrillation surgery
- concomitant atrial fibrillation surgery
- mitral valve surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)