Randall K. Wolf, MD, FACS, FACC
- Visiting Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Board certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Randall Wolf is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Surgeons. He specializes in cardiothoracic surgery and his clinical interest is in arrhythmia and minimally invasive cardiac surgery.
In practice since 1989, Dr. Wolf treats patients from 15 to 94. His practice philosophy centers on highly personalized patient care and tailoring treatment to meet the needs of each patient. An expert in novel minimally invasive therapies, he patients value his availability, ability and reputation.
Dr. Wolf is a past president of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery. He is recognized as a medical innovator in minimally invasive cardiothoracic surgery and was named the Inventor of the Year by the Cincinnati Business Journal.
A Houston resident, Dr. Wolf has a daughter and two sons. His favorite hobby is magic.
- Indiana University
- Methodist Hospital of Indiana
- Roanoke Memorial Hospital
Areas of Interests
Arrhythmia, Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
The Wolf Mini-Maze
Dr. Randall Wolf has made a name for himself around the country with his Wolf Mini-Maze procedure.
The Wolf Mini-Maze is minimally invasive surgical, beating-heart left-atrial isolation technique proven safe and effective. The procedure combines minimally invasive pulmonary vein isolation, partial cardiac denervation, and excision of the left atrial appendage.
The surgeon works through one 6-centimeter and two 1-centimeter incisions made between the ribs on either side of the chest, using a scope to view the heart directly and maneuver specially designed surgical instruments. These bilateral ports are positioned over the pulmonary veins on the right and over the left atrial appendage (LAA) on the left to allow direct 3-D visualization of the heart.
Using a special bipolar radiofrequency (RF) clamp, the surgeon ablates and isolates the pulmonary veins – the location of the AF triggers. The bipolar clamp enables the ablation to be performed in several seconds versus two to three minutes as required by the conventional unipolar RF.
The second part of the procedure involves the endoscopic excision of the left atrial appendage, the site of clot formation that can lead to stroke in patients with AF.
The AF-free rate following the procedure depends of the type of atrial fibrillation. Patients with paroxysmal AF have demonstrated a 92 percent AF-free rate from 1 to 6 years following surgery. Patients with persistent AF have shown an 85 percent AF-free rate from 1 to 6 years out. For patients with persistent AF lasting more than a year, the AF-free rate is 70 percent over the same time frame.
Strokes caused by atrial fibrillation are particularly devastating. The endoscopic exclusion of the left atrial appendage makes the Wolf Mini-Maze procedure efficacious for patients who are at high risk for stroke or have had previous strokes, or who do not tolerate anticoagulants.
In some patients who may not be candidates for the entire ablation technique, the left atrial appendage alone can be removed in a 45-minute procedure.
To qualify for the Wolf Mini-Maze procedure, patients must have documented paroxysmal, persistent or long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation. Patients are not excluded based on age, low ejection fraction, obesity or previous pulmonary vein ablation procedures or open-heart surgery. Each procedure is specifically tailored to the patient.