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Mini-Maze Procedure

Learn about the development and evolution of the procedure


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AFib Patient Testimonials

Success stories from patients who now Live AFib Free


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Dr. Randall Wolf

Meet the inventor of the Mini-Maze procedure



Conversations with patients who now Live AFib Free

The Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, at the Houston Methodist Hospital hosts weekly Internet meetings on cardiovascular topics.

In these videos, three of Dr. Wolf's patients talk about their experiences before and after the Mini-Maze procedure and how it changed their lives. You can also watch other patients and their experience in our "Educational Cardiovascular and AFib Videos" page.


About the procedure

 Hit the play button to meet three of Dr. Wolf's patients. their experience, and how they Live AFib Free.

Three failed EP ablations, and medications my body didn’t tolerate. I was told that the only other option was a pacemaker. I knew there had to be another way. Dr. Wolf and his Mini-Maze was that other way. I am AFib free, medication free, and will never have to take an anticoagulant again. Life is good thanks to Dr Wolf! I am a nurse and the care I received was above and beyond. I thank God everyday I took over my own care and research. Dr Wolf is the answer to getting your life back. It has been four wonderful years Living Afib Free.

 — Sandi Schrameyer


This is an update of how I feel 10+ years after having the Wolf Mini-Maze procedure done!! EVERYONE…I feel FANTASTIC!! No medications since the surgery!! No flutters or AFib issues at all!! The Mini-Maze procedure gave me my life back!!! I HIGHLY SUGGEST considering it!!!!! Not to mention Dr. Wolf is such a wonderful, caring doctor.. you just can’t go wrong!!!

— Mary Ann Arseneau-Allison

Read The Original Post On Facebook Here


As a marathon runner who had normal blood pressure and normal cholesterol, I started to have periodic episodes where after running for a few minutes, I would get completely out of breath and could not recover even if I stopped for several minutes. After three minor strokes, the doctor diagnosed AFib. I ended up getting all the treatment listed in the article, but still would get AFib episodes.

I eventually got a minimally invasive Mini-Maze procedure.  I went back to sinus rhythm during the procedure! My doctor also implanted a monitoring device in my chest to continuously monitor my heart rhythm which has indicated that I have been AFib free for over four years without having to take medication.

— MensHealth.com comment by: rob3995

 Read MensHealth.com article and comment from rob3995 here

Hope for an AFib Free Life

This interventional procedure to treat AFib is a minimally invasive surgical operation. The Mini-Maze was developed in 2003 by Dr. Randall K. Wolf, at that time a Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Center for Surgical Innovation at the University of Cincinnati. Today, he performs this procedure at theDeBakey Heart and Vascular Center in the Houston Methodist Hospital. In this video, Dr. Wolf explains how and why he developed the procedure.

About Dr. Wolf Additional Videos



"A Letter to Fellow AFib patients"

— The incredible story of  skydiver Ross Wroblewski

Ross was grounded by the FAA because of AFib. He was banned from his passion of flying and skydiving. Shortly after his procedure he was reinstated and has written a letter and a treatment matrix for his fellow patients.

Read Ross' letter


For patients with AFib, and specially those patients who have had more than one AFib catheter ablation procedure or other devices installed in their heart,  the Mini-Maze procedure can be life-changing, allowing the patient to Live AFib Free without having to take blood thinners. It also reduces the potential of an AFib-related stroke risk by an astounding 97%! Not every patient is eligible, but, for those who are, this single procedure can give them a healthy, vibrant life for years to come.

How does  it work?

Dedicated to finding alternative treatment options, Dr. Wolf studied the treatment of the heart's autonomic nerves as a cause of atrial fibrillation in humans. The Mini-Maze procedure is designed to interrupt the activity of the components of the autonomic system around the pulmonary veins and the left and right atrium. To this end, he helped design RF ablation clamps that cause the interruption of these nerves throughout the cardiac wall, eliminating potential reappearance of AFib.

As part of the procedure, the left atrial appendage (LAA) is excluded from circulation. This ensures that no LAA-generated clots can cause a stroke. This option is better than blood-thinner medication and other implantable devices in use today.

This is a minimally invasive procedure. Access to the chest, heart, and LAA is attained between the ribs through small openings (ports). No heart-lung machine is required, reducing the complications associated with its use. This type of technique reduces postoperative pain and accelerates recovery time.


Additional information

A consultation is required to start the process. In this website you will find the forms and ways to contact Dr. Wolf and his team. Although most of our patients are from all 50 states of the USA, we consult with patients around the world  via phone calls and videoconference

Additional tests may be required to make sure the patient does not have additional problems or pathologies that can interfere with the Mini-Maze procedure. These can be done locally at your hospital, or at the Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas, USA.

 Dr. Wolf and/or members of his team will speak with you by phone, review any medical records, and help you decide if you are a candidate for the procedure. If accepted, there is only one trip to Houston, at which time you will see Dr. Wolf in the office, review the plan, and proceed with the Mini-Maze the following day. We are happy to provide more information about travel and lodging arrangements to those who are interested.



How can we help?

We have consulted, seen, and operated on thousands of patients. We understand your situation. You probably have been told that nothing else can be done for this medical condition. We know you don’t want to stay on blood thinners for life, but it appears that there is little hope and AFib is limiting your life. We know how frustrating this is and how tough it can be to get that news from your doctor.

We want you to know there is hope. There is an alternative to living with AFib medications and the complications of AFib. There is  a better way, and now thousands of patients can attest to its success. Let us help and guide you to a better life.