St. Joseph’s Hospital’s ’Tampa 2’ AFib Procedure Contributes to Tampa Bay Legacy of Success

June 27, 2024
Two men in lab coats stand in front of an operation table with a large TV screen showing a mapping image.
Thoracic and cardiac surgeon Andrew Sherman, MD, and clinical cardiac electrophysiologist Kevin Makati, MD, worked in tandem to create the Tampa 2 atrial fibrillation (AFib) procedure.


With intention to provide a revolutionary treatment option for atrial fibrillation (AFib), cardiovascular physicians at St. Joseph’s Hospital, a part of the BayCare Health System, leveraged new industry technology and their expertise to develop an innovative procedure. Thoracic and cardiac surgeon Andrew Sherman, MD, and clinical cardiac electrophysiologist Kevin Makati, MD, are now sharing their procedure, fondly called “Tampa 2,” with specialists around the world. 

The Tampa 2 procedure was created to be easy to replicate while achieving equal or better outcomes compared to the Cox-Maze IV, a widely used surgical intervention for AFib introduced in 2002. AFib is a cardiac condition noted by an irregular, frequently rapid heart rhythm and is typically treated with prescription, catheter-based and/or surgical interventions. 

“We created the Tampa 2 procedure after years of collaboration between cardiology and cardiac surgery in conjunction with surgical pioneer Dr. James Cox (originator of the Cox-Maze IV procedure). This state-of-the-art technique has the potential to redefine surgical management of atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Sherman. 

Like its predecessor, the Tampa 2 creates scar tissue to block abnormal electrical signals that cause AFib but adds two lines of ablation (the method to create scar tissue) and has a different approach made possible by new tools and technology.  The Tampa 2 achieved its namesake because of the two additional lines of ablation, developed by two Tampa physicians, all while tipping their hat to the success the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had with their Tampa 2 defense.  

Two men in white lab coats stand on a rooftop with a football stadium behind them.
Drs. Makati and Sherman’s love of their practicing community inspired them to name the procedure Tampa 2.
More than 50 successful Tampa 2 procedures have been performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital, including the treatment of Brittany Williams, a patient of Dr. Sherman. Now the benefits of the Tampa 2 procedure extend beyond the walls of St. Joseph's Hospital as Dr. Sherman and Dr. Makati host lectures across the country to train physicians on all aspects of AFib treatment. In addition, the two physicians presented their procedure and clinical findings at the 2024 International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery annual meeting in Athens, Greece (see abstract here).  

“We are very proud that this novel procedure was developed here at BayCare and St. Joseph’s Hospital,” said Dr. Makati. “We are excited to continually offer new, lifesaving procedures to our community and beyond. This is only possible by the innovative spirit and collaborative efforts of our colleagues here in Tampa and around the world.” 

Learn more about the Heart Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

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