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Young Darth Vader from Super Bowl ad gets new heart valve

You may not remember the play-by-play of the 2011 Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but who can forget Max Page, the pint-sized actor who charmed viewers as Darth Vader in a TV ad for the Volkswagen Passat?

Page, now 10 years old, has been battling congenital heart disease since infancy. In July, doctors at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles performed some magic of their own: They gave Max a new heart valve without having to do open heart surgery. It was inserted through a stent in Max's thigh.

He spent less than 24 hours in the hospital following the procedure.

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Max Page
CBS News

"To think," said his father, Buck Page, "he could go in and have a valve replacement surgery, walk out the next day inside 24 hours, not even 24 hours, with a Band-Aid on his thigh, and the medication was to take a Tylenol."

Dr. Frank Ing, a cardiologist at Children's Hospital, told CBS News how the surgery works. "You can squeeze that stent down into a little sausage-like balloon, run it through the blood vessels, and then run that in the vessels back into the heart," he said.

The procedure was done to replace a heart valve that surgeons had implanted in 2012. That valve, which was implanted during open heart surgery, had become leaky and narrowed earlier than expected, restricting blood flow from his heart to his lungs and slowing him down.

Max will have to undergo another operation -- his eleventh -- next month, this time to replace his pacemaker. And doctors say they will likely have to replace his heart valve again as Max grows into an adult.

But for now, Max says, "I am feeling great."