The experience and insight obtained during surgical ablation of all types of arrhythmias was formative for electrophysiology and catheter ablation. The early surgical ablation experience provided proof of concept as well direct operative observation of anatomy and pathophysiologic mechanisms. For atrial fibrillation (AF), surgical ablation anticipated many of the problems that catheter ablation subsequently encountered, although these lessons were not promptly appreciated. Rather than competition, greater cooperation and communication between surgeons and electrophysiologists in the future would be more likely to enhance understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of AF.
- Atrial fibrillation