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Hybrid Ablation

The best AF treatment you can get

What is a Hybrid Ablation?

Atrial fibrillation (AF, or A-fib) is a common form of cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) characterised by irregular, and usually faster, beating of the heart. Although AF is not life- threatening, it should be treated to prevent damage to the heart. The abnormality usually resolves itself; however, in some cases medication and/or cardioversion (electric shocks) are used to stop the arrhythmia. If your arrhythmia cannot successfully be controlled this way, you will be eligible for ablation. Ablation involves inserting a catheter into the heart via the groin, and creating a barrier of scar tissue to stop the abnormal electrical signals. Often one ablation is enough, although sometimes multiple treatments are necessary. If the arrhythmia has been present for some time or if it persists after multiple ablations, the next step is a Hybrid Ablation.

Hybrid Ablation

Hybrid Operating Theatre (Hybrid OT)

The Hybrid Ablation will take place in the hybrid OT, a combination of an operating theatre and imaging equipment (radiography) that enables operations to be performed using x-ray imagery. Once the general anaesthetic has taken effect, the Heart Surgeon will make three small incisions on the right and left-hand sides of your chest. Next, using a small camera and a surgical clamp, scars will be created on the outside of your pulmonary veins and the atrium of the heart. This creates a ‘barrier’ of scar tissue that blocks the abnormal electrical signals.

In the meantime, the cardiologist will puncture your veins in the groin area. As soon as the cardiac surgeon is finished creating the scars, catheters will be inserted into your heart via the groin to detect straight away whether the scars have been effective. The arrhythmia often stops while the scars are being created. If not, the cardiologist can further investigate the arrhythmia in order to expand the scar area. The operation will stop as soon as a normal heart rhythm has been established. Two drain tubes will be left in your chest afterwards. The operation normally lasts 4-6 hours.

Assessment and treatment procedure

Applying for treatment at the Maastricht Heart and Vascular Center involves several steps. To make everything as simple as possible, the Maastricht Heart and Vascular Center works with case managers: academically trained healthcare professionals serving as a fixed point of contact for all of your questions and requests, from your application right through to aftercare following treatment.

case managers

Check our website for more information: www.

Why come to MUMC+ for Hybrid Ablation?

High likelihood of success
The hybrid ablation procedure was developed at MUMC+ by Dr L. Pison (cardiologist) and Professor M. La Meir (cardiac surgeon), and performed this for the first time in 2008. The unique collaboration between these two doctors has resulted in a procedure with much better outcomes than an ordinary catheter ablation. Success rates normally lie around 60%. The success rate of hybrid ablation – which is usually performed after multiple unsuccessful ablations or to treat long-term atrial fibrillation – is over 80%. Given the problematic nature of the condition, this extremely high success rate means that Dr Pison and Professor La Meir’s hybrid ablation team are viewed as world leaders in the treatment of persistent atrial fibrillation. The other team members involved in this procedure can be found on our website.

The International Patient Office is there to help you
This office can support and assist you when applying for treatment abroad with your health insurer. To facilitate your application, within 24 hours of your official diagnosis you will receive a quote for treatment and a medical file containing the diagnosis and proposed treatment plan. The International Patient Office works with case managers. These are academically trained healthcare professionals who serve as a single point of contact for all of your questions and requests. Your case manager will guide you through the treatment application process and be there to answer all of your questions before, during and after your treatment. The International Patient Office also has a hospitality service. If desired, your case manager can organise travel, accommodation, visa application and interpreting services tailored to your specific needs.


Maastricht Heart+Vascular Center
T: 0031 63014 81 54

Opening hours
8AM - 5PM Monday-Friday (or by appointment)

Laatst bijgewerkt op 7 maart 2024. Bekijk de meest actuele versie van deze folder op: