On 1 October, AtriCure launched its Maze IV training programme on surgical ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation at the Sana Stuttgart Cardiac Surgery Center in Germany.
The Sana Stuttgart Cardiac Surgery Center is one of six initial European hospitals selected to participate in this initiative. This initial course will be led by recognised surgeons in the field of surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation including:
- James L Cox, professor of cardiac surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, USA. Cox is recognised as the innovator of the Maze procedure and is primarily responsible for its origins in cardiac surgery.
- Kai-Nicolas Doll, chief of cardiac surgery at Sana Cardiac Surgery Center in Stuttgart, Germany.
- Timo Weimar, cardiac surgeon at Sana Cardiac Surgery Center in Stuttgart, Germany and international medical director of AtriCure.
The Maze IV procedure uses an energy source to create a “maze” of scar tissue on the heart that helps direct electrical impulses to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. The procedure is performed using AtriCure’s Synergy Ablation System which is CE-marked for use in Europe.
“This is an extremely important initiative to ensure that patients who are eligible for the Maze IV procedure receive it if they are undergoing another heart procedure,” said Weimar. “It is a proven low risk, high cure procedure. If more surgeons were trained on the proper technique, we could make a significant impact in the incidence of atrial fibrillation among our patients.”
As part of this initiative, AtriCure has formed a MAZE IV European Educational Steering Committee to include luminaries in the area of surgical atrial fibrillation ablation from the following centres: OLVG Amsterdam, UZ Leuven Belgium; Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain; San Rafaelle University Hospital, Milan, Italy; and The Royal College of Surgeons, London, England.
“By increasing awareness and treatment, this programme will launch a greater effort and serve as a model for other programmes we have underway in a number of centres internationally,” said Doll. “Along with AtriCure, we aim to curb the potentially devastating physical and emotional impact atrial fibrillation can have on families, and the financial burden on society.”