Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, and its treatment options include drug therapy or catheter-based or surgical interventions. The surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation has undergone multiple evolutions over the last several decades. The Cox-Maze procedure went on to become the gold standard for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and is currently in its fourth iteration (Cox-Maze IV). This article reviews the indications and preoperative planning for performing a Cox-Maze IV procedure. This article also reviews the literature describing the surgical results for both approaches including comparisons of the Cox-Maze IV to the previous cut-and-sew method.
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