Mtn Girl
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Mtn Girl, March 3,  2018  3:08am EST

Wolf Mini-Maze

The first week of February, I had the Wolf Mini-Maze procedure for persistant AFib in Houston, TX where Dr. Randall Wolf, who invented the procedure and the tool to accomplish does 2 - 5 of these each week at Memorial City Memorial Hermann Hosp.  I was informed by my Chattanooga cardiologists (I had 3) only of the Cox Maze - which is open-heart surgery.  When my own research revealed this procedure, my local cardiologist said he knew nothing of the procedure.  So I proceeded on my own.  What a great experience!  I now have a tiny implant on the left side of my upper chest which sends Dr. Wolf my heartbeat daily.  Dr. Wolf was a delight, the ICU nursing staff was incredibly competent and committed, and I feel fortunate to have qualified for and received this incredible procedure.


Mtn Girl

 
  • ROSEM4
    ROSEM4, March 3,  2018  4:23am EST
    Hi Wolf-Mini-Maze    I am new to this A-Fib  have had at least 3 episodes as far as I know, I wore a monitor for one month i am now waiting for the results from my Cardiologist like I am in limbo, no one has explained to me in detail what this is all about.  One Cardoligistwho read the tape from my monitor said my heart stopped for 3 seconds (i should mention I do not feel when I am in A-Fib, I am wondering why there does not seem to be any urgency on the Cardoligist's part to do something, anything about what is happening now, before my heart stops all together.   Any advice>         RoseM4
  • Mtn Girl
    Mtn Girl, March 3,  2018  12:02pm EST
    I had had brief episodes (w/out knowing what they were) for 25+ years.  Several interesting things happened --  the local power board installed "smart" meters which established a broader electrical field, and I began using an "inversion" table.  When requested, the power board  replaced the old meter which had an amazingly calming effect on my heart and I quit using the inversion table.  The AFib was intermittent then.  I was seeing an acupuncturist who felt his treatment would help AFib.  I continued until the expense deterred me --  and the AFib became persistent.  I wasn't really aware of it except when I wanted to walk my dog or walk w/ friends --  but I felt I was living at about half-life.  The reduced energy and life-force & knowing that this is a progressive disease was the impetus for beginning my on-line search.  Everyone is not a candidate for the Wolf Mini-Maze -- but you can alert him, send records, and he'll tell you whether you are a candidate.  He'll work w/ you from wherever you are (without the expense of an in-person visit) until you choose to see him.  As far as your knowing your condition, you're in charge of you.  Know your symptoms (demand that of your cardiologist), get on line, ask questions, call doctors and find out what's available for you ...  it's your heart and your life ... take control!          Mtn Girl
  • Rita
    Rita, March 4,  2018  2:24am EST
    Hi MTM girl,i also had the Wolf mini maze a little over a year ago with excellent results....Dr Wolf is amazing!i had the paroxysmal variety afib which is easier to eliminate. It was a complete success!i has no idea this proceedure existed until i started researching the web and went to the stop afib conference.i live in Charlotte, NC which is a good size city but i was never told about it and was given more and more drugs which were making me sick and we’re not effective. I am so greatful to have had that proceedure. Rita
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, March 4,  2018  4:19am EST
    Dr. Wolf will again be on faculty for the 2018 Get in Rhythm. Stay in Rhythm. Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference in Dallas August 3-5. It is hosted by StopAfib.org, and MyAFibExperience is a co-sponsor of the conference. Dr. Wolf comes and stays the entire three days so that you have plenty of time to talk with him all you need to. For those who are interested in the results of Dr. Wolf's procedure, please see the video on our Get in Rhythm. Stay in Rhythm. Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference page at http://getinrhythm.com . A group of folks who attended the 2016 conference decided to do the procedure and supported each other through it, and then came back to the conference in 2017, even though all were afib-free, in order to have a reunion and celebration and to tell others about the procedure. One is even coming back again this year and has already registered because he wants to support other people at getting their lives back.Dr. Wolf and Mike Hooven (founder of AtriCure) together created the device used in the procedure, which is the AtriCure device. AtriCure will likely be back at the conference, too, so people can learn more about the device as well as the AtriClip device that is applied to close off the left atrial appendage and prevent clots. There are over 1,000 doctors around the US who are certified in doing the mini maze procedure, so if you cannot make it to Houston, you may be able to find a surgeon in your area who does it.That is the procedure that I had more than twelve years ago (back when only a handful of surgeons did it). It has kept me afib free for more than 12 years (supplemented, of course, by being religious in using my CPAP every night).Mellanie
  • rlevin47
    rlevin47, March 5,  2018  1:35am EST
    Hi I read a posting concerning the Wolf Mini Maze. The concerns were that it ignore's atypical left atrial flutter and the recovery is long and hard ("Mini-Maze is  like getting run over by a Mack truck and takes several months to fully recover")?  For anybody that has had this procedure are these concerns true? What about the A-Flutter? Any information and thoughts would be much appreciated.Trying to figure out what to do with my Fib/Flutter and the desire not to take the Meds. I do not tolerate the meds very well!!Thanks for any info and thoughts on this subjects.I will be at the Conferance in August. Have my resavations all set.Robert
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, March 5,  2018  5:20am EST
    Robert,I searched that quote and found that it came from Shannon over at the Lone Afib Forum. Shannon has never had the procedure, and that seems quite a stretch. (His procedures were with Dr. Natale.)My comments (having had the procedure, though not by Dr. Wolf):When atrial flutter arises after any procedure, you're going to have to go back in and get it fixed with another procedure. If the initial procedure was catheter ablation, that means a second catheter ablation for flutter. If it was a surgical procedure, that may mean having a catheter ablation for flutter. That is part of the reason that the hybrid procedure is done - it is a surgical procedure, followed (up to 3 months later) by a catheter ablation. (The STAGED DEEP Trial is for this kind of hybrid ablation, and will give us insights into doing the procedure in a staged manner. The CONVERGE Trial is a different approach, but involves surgery and catheter ablation in the same setting.) Recommendations are that you take up to a week off to recover from a catheter ablation. It is about the same, maybe a few days more, for mini maze. I had the surgery on a Tuesday and was back in my home office the following Monday (if my memory is correct). If I had had to go back to an office job, I would have taken a few more days off as I wouldn't have wanted to dress up in a suit, hose, and heels that soon. Yes, it is more invasive than catheter ablation, but not by that much. And the Mack truck comment is way overblown.For those who are interested, here is my story (https://www.stopafib.org/mellanie.cfm)MellanieP.S. We look forward to seeing you at the patient conference in August.
  • rlevin47
    rlevin47, March 5,  2018  7:14am EST
    Mellanie thanks so much for the information. Looking foward to meeting you in Dallas. If I remember correctly someone posted a while back that they had the Hybrid procidure done in Orlando which is where we live near(depending on the traffic on I4, lol).Wondering how the Hybrid is working for them? Trying to get a consult with Dr Natale, might be eisier to see the Pope! Where is Dr Wolf located and how easy / diffulicult is it to get a consult? I forgot to mention that my Afib is paroxysmal  seems to rear it's ugly head at inopratune times. Like the day before I am leaving on a long trip!!Robert
  • JohnMiosh
    JohnMiosh, March 5,  2018  10:19pm EST
    I had the mini-maze done in the UK last april, followed by a catheter ablation in October as part of the clinical trial CEASE-AF.  I was fitted with an Atriclip on the LAA.  I am now AF and drug free, I have a follow up appointment with my Cardiologist in April which will include a TOE (TEE in the US I think), but this is not due to any complications, just part of the continuing procedures for the monitoring the trial.I was quite a fit 54 year old, a regular long distance club cyclist in a hilly area.  The AF became persistant a year previously, but was undiagnosed prior to this, mainly because it only affected me during extreme exertion.  When I came round after the minimaze, I felt quite good;  I was full of opioids but could see the ECG machine showing sinus rhythm.  i was moved to the High Dependency Unit for the first 24 hours.  I was allowed back on the ward after the physiotherapists had decided I was able to walk a few yards with help.  I was unbelievably tired and slept for the next 24 hours.  On the third day I was able to walk the length of the ward and up a flight of stairs, and was allowed home.At home, I was eventually able to walk around the block on day four and was able to walk up to up four miles by day fourteen.  On day seventeen, I went back to work on light duties. in comparison After the catheter ablation, I had none of these difficulties, and had to hold myself back from doing too much too soon. At the time of the minimaze, I did feel that I had been hit by a truck and wondered how someone a little less athletic may have coped.  I even regretted it after a week when AF symptoms came back.  However, now I feel that I am as close to being cured as possible; I have not gone back to my previous levels of exercise, but this is just caution on my part and my cardiologist is much more bullish about my potential capabilities.I am now so much better than I ever hoped for, the discomfort of the minimaze is now forgotten, and I look forward to seeing the results of the various trials to see the results in the relative success rates of the minimaze, hybrid and multiple catheter ablations.
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, March 6,  2018  11:48am EST
    Robert,Dr. Wolf is in Houson. You might consider having a consultation with Dr. Steve Hoff in Orlando. He was on faculty the past two years for the patient conference and spoke about the hybrid procedure. He came to Orlando from Vanderbilt and is very highly regarded. Mellanie
  • Jhaskins22
    Jhaskins22, April 4,  2019  9:20am EST

    I am in Naples Florida. I have had 2 ablations and have had 2 attempted cardioversions with no success. I am only 52 and am looking at the mini maze or if needed the hybrid. Can anyone recommend a physician in Fort Myers, Naples, or Tampa? I may try to call Dr Hoff in Orlando. Although he is much further away. 

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