How Mercy Health cared for Nancy’s AFib
Nancy Fisher learned she had an irregular heart beat during a visit with her family doctor. An assistant manager at a bookstore, Nancy had a family history of heart disease. Though the 67-year-old from Ada, OH, often felt tired, she was determined not to let her heart issue bring her down.
As Nancy’s condition became more difficult, she decided to take action. However, two catheter ablations didn’t provide the healing she needed. After that, Nancy learned of a procedure performed by Mercy Health – St. Rita’s cardiothoracic surgeon, John Sirak, MD. She decided to give it a try.
The 5-Box Thoracoscopic Maze Procedure is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure for patients with atrial fibrillation. With a success rate upwards of 95 percent, this procedure uses a thoracoscopic approach, consisting of four pencil-sized incisions on each side of the chest, to isolate the key anatomy responsible for AFib.
“I wanted to see my grandkids and great-grandkids,” Nancy said. “Now I feel better and sleep better.”
What is the 5-Box Thoracoscopic Maze Procedure?
First performed by Dr. Sirak in 2008, the 5-Box Thoracoscopic Maze Procedure has proven to be a successful method for treating atrial fibrillation. It is only performed in Lima at St. Rita’s by Dr. Sirak.
“Each step of the operation is a project of isolating the anatomy, isolating an enclosed section of the atrium,” Dr. Sirak said. “We are going after the areas that are most responsible for the AFib and electrically isolating them, so that the normal pathway can take control and thereby allow normal heart function.”
The advantage to the technique is that it offers clear confirmation of each step of the operation, thereby assuring that the ablations are complete.
Nancy’s procedure was on March 13, 2018 and continues to build strength. As part of standard surveillance to verify the success of the operation, Nancy currently wears a ZIO Patch for one week at specific intervals following the operation.
The ZIO Patch is a new form of ambulatory cardiac monitoring described as a wearable patch. The ZIO Patch is unique compared to traditional monitors as the monitoring device has no leads, no wires and no batteries. This makes monitoring the heart convenient and unobtrusive, while still being extremely accurate.
Nancy came into the operation with some degree of heart failure. Fortunately, by restoring normal rhythm, Dr. Sirak said her heart function will normalize in three to six months. Just as important? She will continue to feel even stronger, meaning she can get back to the parts of her life that she loves the most.