Structured training program system

Training Programs

AF Connect programs* provide training in all aspects of the surgical treatment of AF, including minimally invasive procedures. Depending on your personal goals, there are a variety of programs that provide an opportunity to establish and advance your AF practice.

*These training programs are not available for physicians practicing in China, Latin America or the United States.

Convergent Days - 24 October, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

The Convergent Days Program is led by a faculty of electrophysiologists and cardiac surgeons and includes both didactic sessions and the opportunity to perform Convergent Approach cases in a beating heart specimen model to provide a comprehensive hands-on experience.

Program Details / Register

Maze IV Programm - 25 October, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

Das 1 -Tagesprogramm ist für Herzchirurgen die an chirurgischer Ablation interessiert sind. Von Patientenselektion bis zu den aktuellen klinischen Erkenntnissen beinhaltet der interaktive Kurs verschiedene Lernmodule. Die Trainer helfen ihnen die geeigneten Behandlungsstrategien zu definieren und wie man Ablaltionsfehler vermeidet.

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Convergent Days - 14 November, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

The Convergent Days Program is led by a faculty of electrophysiologists and cardiac surgeons and includes both didactic sessions and the opportunity to perform Convergent Approach cases in a beating heart specimen model to provide a comprehensive hands-on experience.

Program Details / Register

Maze IV Training - 16 November, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

This one day training is for physicians interested in concomitant ablation – devoted to all aspects of surgical treatment of AF. From patient selection to the latest clinical evidence, this dynamic course features a variety of learning formats. You will be trained by a minimum of three experts in the field of AF ablation. Your trainer will provide tips on becoming an effective AF surgeon and show you how to avoid pitfalls in different settings. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to discuss upcoming cases with a trainer to identify the right strategy for your patients.

Program Details / Register

Maze IV Training - 24 November, 2018

Dubai

This one day training is for physicians interested in concomitant ablation – devoted to all aspects of surgical treatment of AF. From patient selection to the latest clinical evidence, this dynamic course features a variety of learning formats. You will be trained by a minimum of three experts in the field of AF ablation. Your trainer will provide tips on becoming an effective AF surgeon and show you how to avoid pitfalls in different settings. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to discuss upcoming cases with a trainer to identify the right strategy for your patients.

Program Details / Register

Convergent Days - 7 December, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

The Convergent Days Program is led by a faculty of electrophysiologists and cardiac surgeons and includes both didactic sessions and the opportunity to perform Convergent Approach cases in a beating heart specimen model to provide a comprehensive hands-on experience.

Program Details / Register

Advanced Peer-to-Peer Training Program: Endoscopic Ablation of Lone AF - Available on demand

Various Locations

This one-day peer-to-peer training is for physicians interested in the minimally invasive approach to lone AF treatment. Attendees will have the opportunity to view a maximum of 2 live cases. At the end of this program, you'll be able to discuss your upcoming cases with a trainer to identify the right strategy for your patients. You may also request proctoring for those cases.

Program Details / Register

Advanced Peer-to-Peer Training Program: Hybrid Ablation of Lone AF - Available on demand

Various Locations

This one-day peer-to-peer training is for physicians interested in the minimally invasive approach to lone AF treatment. Attendees will have the opportunity to view 1-2 live cases. At the end of this program, you'll be able to discuss your upcoming cases with a trainer to identify the right strategy for your patients. You may also request proctoring for those cases.

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Proctoring - Available on demand

Your location/Your proctor's location

AF Connect provides proctoring resources to you at all stages of your surgical treatment of AF training and procedure implementation. Whether you are performing your first concomitant procedure or focused on growing your AF practice with concomitant expansion or standalone ablation, proctoring provides the opportunity to:

- View live cases performed by experienced AF surgeons
- Receive feedback from a proctor as you perform a procedure at your location
- Discuss advanced technique and patient selection with an AF expert

Program Details / Register

Residents Summit – Exploring Your Future in Atrial Fibrillation - 17 October, 2018

Milan, Italy

Join your colleagues for a half day course to discuss surgical AFib and left atrial appendage management with an experienced global faculty and take the opportunity to network with your peers.

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Fusion Summit - 20 September, 2018

Frankfurt, Germany

Join your colleagues for a one-day program covering all aspects of surgical AF patient management with the Fusion technology. From patient selection to the latest clinical evidence, this dynamic program features the most up-to-date techniques and results for surgical ablation with Fusion technology.

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Convergent Days - 19 September, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

The Convergent Days Program is led by a faculty of electrophysiologists and cardiac surgeons and includes both didactic sessions and the opportunity to perform Convergent Approach cases in a beating heart specimen model to provide a comprehensive hands-on experience

Program Details / Register

Maze IV Training - 18 September, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

This one day training is for physicians interested in concomitant ablation – devoted to all aspects of surgical treatment of AF. From patient selection to the latest clinical evidence, this dynamic course features a variety of learning formats. You will be trained by a minimum of three experts in the field of AF ablation. Your trainer will provide tips on becoming an effective AF surgeon and show you how to avoid pitfalls in different settings. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to discuss upcoming cases with a trainer to identify the right strategy for your patients.

Program Details / Register

Maze IV Training - 17 September, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

This one day training is for physicians interested in concomitant ablation – devoted to all aspects of surgical treatment of AF. From patient selection to the latest clinical evidence, this dynamic course features a variety of learning formats. You will be trained by a minimum of three experts in the field of AF ablation. Your trainer will provide tips on becoming an effective AF surgeon and show you how to avoid pitfalls in different settings. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to discuss upcoming cases with a trainer to identify the right strategy for your patients.

Program Details / Register

Maze IV Training - 14 September, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

This one day training is for physicians interested in concomitant ablation – devoted to all aspects of surgical treatment of AF. From patient selection to the latest clinical evidence, this dynamic course features a variety of learning formats. You will be trained by a minimum of three experts in the field of AF ablation. Your trainer will provide tips on becoming an effective AF surgeon and show you how to avoid pitfalls in different settings. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to discuss upcoming cases with a trainer to identify the right strategy for your patients.

Program Details / Register

Convergent Arrhythmia Summit - 8 June, 2018

London, United Kingdom

Join your colleagues for a one-day program covering all options in the treatment of permanent AF with the convergent procedure

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Maze IV Training - 28 May, 2018

Leuven, Belgium

This one day training is for physicians interested in concomitant ablation – devoted to all aspects of surgical treatment of AF. From patient selection to the latest clinical evidence, this dynamic course features a variety of learning formats. You will be trained by a minimum of three experts in the field of AF ablation. Your trainer will provide tips on becoming an effective AF surgeon and show you how to avoid pitfalls in different settings. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to discuss upcoming cases with a trainer to identify the right strategy for your patients.

Program Details / Register

Navigating the Maze (14th Edition) - 22 April, 2018

Barcelona, Spain

This 2 day (22-24 April 2018) International Atrial Fibrillation program is for physicians interested in concomitant ablation and minimally invasive approaches to lone AF treatment. From patient selection to the latest clinical evidence, this dynamic program presents techniques and outcomes for catheter and surgical ablation. The faculty of leading experts will highlight specific cardiac surgery and minimally invasive thoracoscopic procedures for lone AF patients through live surgeries and engaging presentations.

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Fusion Days - 15 March, 2018

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Join your colleagues for a one-day program covering closed heart concomitant AF surgery with the COBRA Fusion® Surgical Ablation technology. Led by an experienced global faculty, this dynamic program features surgical treatment options for closed heart concomitant AF ablation as well as LAA management and hands on cadaver practice.

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Stefano Benussi, MD, PhD

University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland

Stefano Benussi has been in practice since 1991 and worked for many years as leading surgeon at S. Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy. He was founder of the Arrhythmia Task Force of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and since 2015 he has been chief of arrhythmia surgery and cardio stimulation at USZ Zurich, Switzerland where he is responsible for surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and VAD implants. He also performs OPCAB and valve repair surgery, mainly through minimal invasive approaches.

Pubmed Profile

Manuel Castellà, MD

Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain

Since July 2011, Manuel Castellà has held the post of Associate Professor of the University of Barcelona, Spain. He worked as resident in Cardiovascular Surgery Centers in Barcelona and Bad Oeynhausen and as Research Fellow of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles. His fields of interest include minimal invasive cardiac surgery and surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Pubmed Profile

Sir Malcolm Dalrymple-Hay, MD, PhD

Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK

Sir Malcolm Dalrymple-Hay is a Consultant Cardiac surgeon and has clinic facilities at both Plymouth and Exeter. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCS) and the European Board of Cardiovascular Surgeons (FECTS). He performs all aspects of Cardiac Surgery and has specialist expertise in Aortic & Mitral valve surgery (including minimally invasive techniques), surgery for heart rhythm disturbances and transcatheter aortic valve implantation. He is presently the Regional Specialty Advisor for Cardiothoracic Surgery and teaches on both professional development and academic cardiac surgical courses.

Pubmed Profile

Nicolas Doll, MD

Sana Cardiac Surgery, Stuttgart, Germany

Since November 2008, Nicolas Doll has held the post of Medical Director and Head of Department of Cardiac Surgery at Sana Heart Center Stuttgart, Germany. His fields of interest include: surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation, pacemaker, defibrillator, biventricular stimulation, OPCAB surgery, minimally invasive valve surgery, and diving medicine.

Pubmed Profile

Jaswinder Singh Gill, MD

Guy’s & St Thomas' NHS Trust, London, UK

Dr Jas Gill qualified from Cambridge University in 1979. He was appointed Consultant Cardiologist to Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust in 1995. Since then he has set up the electrophysiology unit and arrhythmia services for that trust. His special interests are in the treatment of arrhythmias including radio frequency ablation and the implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators. He has ninety two peer review papers, fourteen chapters in books and is a co-author of one book. He has lectured at numerous national and international meetings and is a reviewer for a number of high impact journals.

Pubmed Profile

Thorsten Hanke, MD

Asklepios Klinikum, Hamburg-Harburg, Germany

Thorsten Hanke, MD qualified from Free University Berlin in 1995. He was appointed Consultant Cardiac Surgeon to the University Clinic for Cardiac and Thoracic Vascular Surgery at the University Clinic Schleswig-Holstein, Luebeck, Germany in 2007. After this he has set up the cardiac surgery electrophysiology unit and arrhythmia services as well as the outpatient clinic of that clinic. In 2016, Prof. Dr. Hanke moved to the Asklepios Klinikum Harburg in Hamburg Germany and has started a new arrhythmia program in this hospital. His special as well as scientific research interests are in the treatment of atrial and ventricular arrhythmia's including concomitant and stand-alone cryo and radio frequency ablation. In 2017, he set up the largest LAA stand-alone surgical treatment program in Germany. He has more than 60 peer review papers and 5 chapters in books and has lectured at numerous national and international meetings. He is also a reviewer for a number of high impact journals.

Pubmed Profile

Steven Hunter, MD

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, UK

From 2013, Steven Hunter has worked at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, UK as an adult cardiac surgeon with special interests in valve reconstruction surgery and surgery for cardiac dysrhythmias. He has performed over 6000 cardiac operations and has been involved with the management of trauma for 30 years. He has led the development in the UK of minimal access surgery for the repair of mitral valves and for ablation of atrial fibrillation and has trained surgeons in 23 centres across the UK and Europe in these techniques.

Pubmed Profile

Mark La Meir, MD, PhD

University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium

Chair and professor of Cardiac Surgery and Head of the Cardiac Surgery Department at the University Hospital Brussels. Consultant at the Maastricht University Medical Center (The Netherlands). He earned his medical degree in 1992 and completed his PhD on hybrid treatment of atrial fibrillation in 2012. He has a special interest in the concomitant and stand-alone treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Since 2005 he developed hybrid approaches for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, inappropriate sinus nude dysfunction, premature ventricular contractions and Brugada syndrome. He is board member of the Arrhythmia Task Force of the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Pubmed Profile

Claudio Muneretto, MD, PhD

University of Brescia Medical School, Brescia, Italy

Since 1998, Claudio Muneretto has been Chairman and Head of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at University of Brescia, Italy. He has and extensive experience with over 5,000 open heart procedures and over 1,000 minimal invasive video assisted procedures.

Pubmed Profile

Bart P. van Putte, MD, PhD

St. Antonius Ziekenhuis, Nieuwegein, Netherlands

Bart van Putte trained as cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Antonius hospital (Nieuwegein, Netherlands). From 2010, he has worked as a cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Antonius involved in thoracic and aortic surgery. During the last few years he has mainly worked in minimally invasive cardiac (port-access mitral surgery, minimal access aortic valve surgery, thoracoscopic AF surgery) and atrial fibrillation surgery. Since 2015, he has held the post of associate principal investigator at Academic Medical Center (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Since 2017, he has been director of the residency and training program for cardiothoracic surgery.

Pubmed Profile

Filip Rega, MD, PhD

UZ, Leuven, Belgium

Filip Rega is associate professor and assistant head of clinic at the department of Cardiac Surgery of the University Hospital of Leuven, Belgium. His clinical work focuses on congenital heart surgery and valvular heart disease. From both of those programs grew an interest in electrophysiology. Dr Rega is surgical director of the Leuven electrophysiology program.

Pubmed Profile

Piotr Suwalski, MD, PhD

Central Clinical Hospital, Warsaw

Piotr Suwalski received his medical diploma in 2002 and after working in different positions in cardiac surgery, became Head of Department of Cardiac Surgery in 2012 at the Central Clinical Hospital, The Interior Ministry, Warsaw in Poland. He wrote his thesis on: "The effectiveness of surgical ablation in patients with paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation depending on the applied techniques and energy sources." His field of interests include: minimal invasive surgery and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation.

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Timo Weimar, MD

Sana Cardiac Surgery, Stuttgart, Germany

Timo Weimar works as cardiac surgeon at Sana Cardiac Surgery Stuttgart in Germany. He is specialized in the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and was trained at Washington University in St. Louis by Ralph J. Damiano, MD. Besides the different types of concomitant ablation techniques, he also performs standalone procedures, including minimally invasive biatrial Maze IV procedures, endoscopic left atrial ablations and endoscopic LAA management.

Pubmed Profile

Niels Verberkmoes, MD

Catharina Ziekenhuis, Eindhoven

At the final years of medical school in 2004, Niels Verberkmoes was encouraged by John Elefteriades, MD, PhD, and assistant professor Michael Coady to start his career in cardiac surgery in their department of cardiac surgery at Yale School of Medicine. Additional and extensive training was performed in various international clinics. Finally, the unprecedented possibilities to gather experience in minimal invasive surgery at the department of cardio-thoracic surgery in Catharina Heart Center Eindhoven has led to a particular range of expertise in both cardiac as thoracic surgery. As a result of an intensive collaboration with his electrophysiologists, Niels has developed specialist expertise in all aspects of arrhythmia surgery including, concomitant Maze IV procedures, thoracoscopic AF surgery, left atrial appendage management, hybrid surgery for device implantation in heart failure and for complex electronic device lead management and extractions. Furthermore, he has special expertise in training education and simulation programs.

Pubmed Profile

Konstantinos Zannis, MD

Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, Paris, France

Since 2009, Konstantinos Zannis has been working as a staff surgeon at the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris. He developed three axes of the minimally invasive program of the Cardiac Surgery Department namely: mini-sternotomy approach for aortic valve replacement; subxifoid approach for long standing persistent atrial fibrillation and mini-thoracotomy approach mitral valve surgery. He teaches Cardiac Surgery in adult patients, indications for surgery, operative techniques, and results of surgery for residents in cardiology.

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Michal Zembala, MD, PhD

Silesian Center For Heart Diseases, Poland

Michał Zembala is head of the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the Silesian Medical Academy in Zabrze, Poland. He has more than 10 years clinical experience in cardiovascular procedures, including open and hybrid aortic aneurysm surgery, minimally invasive and transcatheter valvular procedures (TAVI TF/TA). Since 2014, he has held the post of Surgical Director of the transcatheter therapies of structural heart diseases and arrythmia surgery. He was responsible for the introduction and development of the most successful hybrid atrial fibrillation treatment strategy with totally endoscopic, transabdominal access in his institution.

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