Child actor Max Page, who portrayed mini Darth Vader in Volkswagen’s 2011 Super Bowl commercial, received a new heart pacemaker pulse generator in a 30-minute procedure Wednesday at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“Everything went fine with the pulse generator procedure,” says Children’s Hospital Los Angeles cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Winfield Wells.
The procedure replaced Max’s pacemaker pulse generator, which runs on batteries and needs to be switched out with a new device every five to seven years, Wells said.
The pulse generator is attached to electrodes called leads which send electrical impulses to the heart.
Wells said he expects the 10-year-old Max to be able to resume normal activities within a week. The new pacemaker pulse generator should last up to seven years, Wells said.
The pulse generator contains electronics that sense how fast Max’s heart is beating, and if necessary, paces the heart to keep it at the appropriate rate, Wells said.
“The device won’t allow his heart rate to go below 70 but more important if he is being active, it will sense that the heart wants to go faster and keep the heart synchronized at that faster rate,” Wells says.
The procedure began at 7:40 a.m. and Max was on his way home with his family by 11 a.m., Wells said.
The operation came 34 days after Max underwent a three-hour procedure to receive a Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve to replace a pulmonary heart valve that had been implanted in 2012, Wells said.
—City News Service