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Surgery for atrial fibrillation 

Surgery for atrial fibrillation
Surgery for atrial fibrillation
Core Concepts in Cardiac Surgery

Jason O. Robertson

, Lindsey L. Saint

, and Ralph J. Damiano


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common of all cardiac arrhythmias and accounts for nearly one-third of all hospital admissions due to heart rhythm irregularities. AF affects nearly 4.5 million people in the European Union and 2.2 million people in the United States. Its prevalence increases with age, afflicting 4% of the population over 60 years old and nearly 9% of persons 80 years and older. The most serious complication of AF is thromboembolism and resultant stroke; however, significant morbidity and mortality also result from hemodynamic compromise due to loss of atrial contraction, exacerbations of congestive heart failure from atrioventricular asynchrony, and tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy. As a result, atrial fibrillation has an enormous socioeconomic impact. Available medical treatments for atrial fibrillation have many shortcomings, and the rationale, methods, and results of surgical techniques for the treatment of atrial fibrillation are addressed in this chapter.

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