As a treatment for atrial fibrillation, the Cryomaze procedure creates linear cryolesions (frozen scars) in the upper chamber of the heart by applying an Argon-powered cold probe to freeze the tissue. By freezing the tissue to very cold temperatures and creating electrical barriers, electrical activity is permanently blocked.
The Cryomaze procedure can be performed by dividing the sternum (open chest) or via a small 7-cm right anterior thoracotomy (minimally invasive). A variety of cryoprobes are used, the most important being a rigid straight probe which that can create linear cryolesions 5-7 cm in length.
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