Completely thoracoscopic pulmonary vein isolation with ganglionic plexus ablation and left atrial appendage amputation for treatment of atrial fibrillation

Alaaddin Yilmaz, Guillaume S. C. Geuzebroek, Bart P. van Putte, Lucas V. A. Boersma, Uday Sonker, Jacques M. T. de Bakker, Wim-Jan van Boven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Percutaneous catheter pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) has been the preferred choice for invasive treatment of symptomatic, drug-refractory lone atrial fibrillation (AF). Incomplete ablation lines, procedure-related morbidity and long-term success remain, however, a problem. A minimally invasive surgical approach can provide an attractive and secure alternative. Surgery offers an epicardial, bipolar approach under direct vision, but the invasiveness of surgery remains a problem. Therefore, we developed a completely thoracoscopic procedure. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of a completely thoracoscopic surgical procedure to cure lone AF. Methods: Bilateral 'video-assisted thoracoscopy' was performed to isolate the bilateral pairs of pulmonary veins using bipolar RF-energy, to ablate the ganglionic plexus (GP) and to amputate the left atrial appendage. Preoperative, in-hospital and follow-up data were collected for our first 30 patients. Results: AF was paroxysmal in 63%, persistent in 27% and permanent in 10% of cases. The mean (+/-SD) left atrial diameter was 42.1 +/- 7.4 mm and the mean duration of AF was 79.0 +/- 63.9 months. Freedom from AF was obtained in 77% of the patients during a mean follow-up of 11.6 months. Forty-three percent of the patients had previously undergone a percutaneous PVI and were all free from AF during follow-up. Mean operation time was 137.4 +/- 24.7 min. All patients were extubated in the operating room and left the recovery room within 12 h. The mean hospital stay was 5.1 +/- 1.8 days. Two patients ultimately underwent a median sternotomy. No CVAs or pacemaker implantation were identified and none of the patients died. Conclusion: We report our initial experience of a completely thoracoscopic PVI with GP-ablation and amputation of the left atrial appendage and demonstrate that the procedure is feasible, safe and effective for the treatment of lone AF. (C) 2010 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-360
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this