Background: As nostandardized curriculum exists for training cardiothoracic surgery residents in surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation there is potential for variation in operative technique, patient selection, and overall application. Thus we sought to assess the exposure of current residents in order to identify areas for improvement in their education.
Methods: A survey was emailed to residents inquiring about their training experience in surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation. Residents were asked about case volume, procedural variety, and guideline-based clinical scenarios where they felt ablation would be appropriate. Residents were also queried about their abilities to perform various lesion sets and overall satisfaction with training.
Results: The respondents performed a median of five cases during training with pulmonary vein isolation the most common lesion set. Residents stated they were overall unable to independently perform complete lesion sets (MAZE procedure) and are unsatisfied with their training in surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation.
Conclusions: The findings of low case volume, incomplete lesion set use, and lack of training satisfaction suggests residents are being insufficiently exposed to surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation. These findings should inform educators on the importance of a more thorough experience during training given the increasing prevalence of atrial fibrillation and the need for appropriate and durable surgical intervention.
Credits: Zachary M. DeBoard, Thomas K. Varghese Jr, John R. Doty, Craig H. Selzman