Heart Surgery Clears the Path for
McLeod Cardiac Patients

At McLeod Health, our team of heart surgeons perform “open heart” surgical procedures to either correct an acquired defect (such as blockages in the coronary arteries) or congenital defects (heart problems appearing at birth). During surgery they use the latest techniques in heart valve repair/replacement, repair erratic heart rhythms, and perform heart bypass surgery. Yet, their expertise extends beyond the heart, because our specialists are also board certified for thoracic surgery — dealing with the chest area and lungs.

  • MAZE – A Cure for Irregular Heart Rhythms

    The MAZE procedure is a surgical intervention for patients undergoing open-heart surgery whose Atrial Fibrillation (AF), an abnormality of the electrical system of the heart, cannot be controlled by medications. MAZE cures AF by interrupting the electrical patterns that are responsible for the irregular heartbeat.


    With the MAZE procedure, a McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon using a radiofrequency probe, will make burn lesion areas in the heart tissue without damaging the heart. These lesions placed in strategic areas of the upper chambers of the heart redirects the electrical pattern.

    The scar tissue generated by the lesions permanently blocks the electrical travel route and helps redirect the electrical flow. This surgery helps the heart pump in a normal way.

    Patients with AF are likely to be on a blood thinning medication. After a MAZE procedure, patients will be kept on medications such as Coumadin for three months during the remodeling process of the heart to help prevent any reoccurrence of AF.

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)

    With more advance heart disease, patients may be referred for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG). During CABG, a blood vessel (artery or vein) is taken from the arms or legs and is surgically placed onto the heart artery beyond the blockage. This allows the blood to flow around the blockage and “bypass the blockage.” Although this procedure is commonly referred to as “open heart surgery,” the heart is not “opened” during Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting as the blocked arteries are located on the surface of the heart, not inside.


    The traditional method for performing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting includes the utilization of cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung machine), which allows the cardiovascular surgeon to operate on a patient’s heart.