R.T. Rybak suffers heart attack while cross-country skiing

R.T. Rybak suffers heart attack while cross-country skiing

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is resting with his family at Abbott Northwestern Hospital after undergoing an angioplasty and stent placement earlier today.

FROM THURSDAY: Rybak cracks awesome joke as he prepares for official unauguration

Rybak had been cross-country skiing at Theodore Wirth Park early Saturday afternoon when he felt chest pains. He was transported to the hospital via ambulance, where doctors performed a procedure that inserted two stents.

As rumors about his condition swirled, Rybak confirmed he was alive and well in one of his trademark poem tweets.

Here's a description of the non-surgical procedure that Rybak underwent:

Coronary angioplasty (AN-jee-o-plas-tee), also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is a procedure used to open clogged heart arteries. Angioplasty involves temporarily inserting and blowing up a tiny balloon where your artery is clogged to help widen the artery. 

Angioplasty is often combined with the permanent placement of a small wire mesh tube called a stent to help prop the artery open and decrease the chance of it narrowing again. Some stents are coated with medication to help keep your artery open (drug-eluting stents), while others are not (bare-metal stents).

Rybak, 58, ended his 12-year term as mayor Thursday when Betsy Hodges was sworn in as his replacement.

Gov. Mark Dayton's office has released the following statement regarding Rybak's heart attack:

"On behalf of all Minnesotans, I extend my very best wishes to former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and his family. We all pray for his swift and complete recovery. 

Our thanks go to the emergency responders and medical personnel, whose talents and training made the critical difference in the life of this outstanding leader, who has given so much to the people of Minneapolis and all of Minnesota."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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