Atrial fibrillation (AF or A-fib) is an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular beating. Often it starts as brief periods of abnormal beating which become longer and possibly constant over time.Most episodes have no symptoms. Occasionally there may be heart palpitations, fainting, shortness of breath, or chest pain. The disease is associated with an increased risk of heart failure, dementia, and stroke. It is a type of supraventricular tachycardia.

Cardiac surgery is an integral part of the Heart Clinic and all indications for surgery are discussed (cardiologists and cardiac surgeons) in the heart team. There entire spectrum of conventional heart surgery is offered (elective, emergency). We perform all cardiac surgery procedures apart from transplants and assist devices. For most indications a median sternotmoy is the method of choice to access the heart; however our main focus is on minimally invasive surgery. All procedures are performed in most advanced hybrid operating room of Europe. This allows us to combine the latest surgical procedures with catheter interventions, in order to offer patients the best therapy.

 

Atrial Fibrillation

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Is a condition of the heart in which the atria do not contract anymore due to a fibrillating status. This results in an irregular heart beat.

 

Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

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Therapeutic Accesses

(1) Over a venous puncture in the groin left atrial ablations can be performed (catheter ablation). (2) Minimally invasive thoracoscopic ablation for atrial fibrillation can be done via a bilateral thoracoscopic approach.

Ablation of atrial fibrillation is mainly performed with an ablation catheter through the groin. The catheter delivers energy to the places in the heart (=endocardium) where the fibrillation originates.  Alternatively the energy can also be applied with surgical instruments to the outside of the heart (=epicardium) brought in through small holes in the chest.

 

Left atrial appendage (LAA closure)

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Therapeutic Accesses

(1) Over a venous puncture in the groin left atrial closure devices can be placed. (2) Minimally invasive LAA closure can be done via a thoracoscopic approach.

Left atrial appendage closure is a treatment option in patients with atrial fibrillation to close the left atrial appendage from the inside with a “plug” brought in with a catheter through the groin. In addition the left atrial appendage can also be closed surgically from the outside with a “clip” brought through a small hole in the chest (=thoracoscopically).

 

Heart Clinic Zurich offers the following treatments

  • An experienced team of surgeons who have had thorough training at the university hospital of Zurich in addition to specialised international training.

  • Conventional Heart Surgery including Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (ACBP), Aortic Valve Replacement and Repair, as well as Mitral and Tricuspid Valve Repairs.

  • For CABG we prefer to the off-pump approach not using the heart-lung machine. In addition we have developed a hybrid program for minimally invasive Lima-to LAD Bypass (MIDCAB) in combination with.

  • Our Aortic valve replacement program offers the entire spectrum from minimally invasive valve replacement through an anterior mini thoracotomy (4cm incision) to TAVI (transaortic, apical and femoral access).

  • As for Mitral and Tricuspid valve repair, these procedures are all performed endoscopically when possible.

  • Aortic aneurysm surgery, classic and hybrid procedures (bypass and stent graft).

  • We also offer the entire spectrum of atrial fibrillation surgery. This goes from concomitant surgical ablations (Maze Procedure, PVI), left atrial appendage therapies to stand alone treatment of atrial fibrillation (closed chest Maze), and stand-alone left atrial appendage closure (minimally invasive) without opening the chest.

 

Meet our Experts in Atrial Fibrillation