Maia Shibutani recovering after surgery on kidney tumour

Ice dancer admits post-op pain has been "worse than I anticipated" but thanked fans for their support on Instagram

Olympic figure skating medallist Maia Shibutani has left hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a kidney tumour.

The 25-year-old ice dancer, who won bronze at PyeongChang 2018 with elder brother Alex, revealed on Instagram that she was discharged on Tuesday afternoon three days after the operation.

Shibutani thanked her followers for their "love and positivity" and said, "Unfortunately, the pain post-surgery has been worse than I anticipated. I’ve had my fair share of injuries in skating and I’m used to muscle and bone stuff, but this is different.

"It was explained to me that since I am young and in good shape, my muscles and nerves are really sensitive. Walking and making even smaller body movements is currently very painful and extremely challenging.

"It’s been tough to not feel discouraged and weak, but focusing on gratitude has really helped. My parents are with me and Alex was able to support me through those difficult first steps. I’m grateful for all of the messages of encouragement - I feel very cared for and supported.

"This recovery will take time and I’m still waiting on news, but I’m determined to come back stronger."

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All of the messages of love and positivity have meant a lot and are so appreciated. Generally, things are moving in the right direction. I had to spend an extra night in the hospital following my surgery, but I was discharged yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, the pain post-surgery has been worse than I anticipated. I’ve had my fair share of injuries in skating and I’m used to muscle and bone stuff, but this is different. It was explained to me that since I am young and in good shape, my muscles and nerves are really sensitive. Walking and making even smaller body movements is currently very painful and extremely challenging. It’s been tough to not feel discouraged and weak, but focusing on gratitude has really helped. My parents are with me and Alex was able to support me through those difficult first steps. I’m grateful for all of the messages of encouragement - I feel very cared for and supported. This recovery will take time and I’m still waiting on news, but I’m determined to come back stronger.

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The events leading up to Shibutani's tumour discovery

On Sunday, Shibutani posted a photo of her in a hospital bed after her operation.

She detailed how doctors had spotted an abnormality in October after she went to hospital with what turned out to be a stomach virus.

They advised a follow-up examination and, last week, an MRI scan in Los Angeles showed a "small mass" on her kidney which Shibutani said was "incredibly shocking and difficult to handle".

She added, "I’ve been so scared, but I have had the full support of my family, doctors, and nurses."

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It’s been a really tough week. Back in October, I got sick and had to go to the ER while I was in New York. It ended up being a stomach virus, but they ran some tests that showed an abnormality - it was recommended that I have a follow-up appointment to take a closer look. After an MRI earlier this week in LA, I was told that I had a small mass on one of my kidneys. Receiving this news has been incredibly shocking and difficult to handle. I’ve been so scared, but I have had the full support of my family, doctors, and nurses. I had surgery yesterday to remove the tumor. The surgery was successful and I was able to keep the rest of my kidney. I am in recovery at the hospital and have been in a lot of pain post-surgery, but I am grateful. My doctor said there is a 60/40 chance that the tumor was malignant versus benign (we will know soon), but I am young, healthy, and feel fortunate that this was detected so early. While this is deeply personal news, I don’t want rumors to spread, or for anyone to worry in case people say they saw me at the hospital. (Next time, just say “hi”) • I am going to try and stay positive and focus on my recovery. I appreciate all of the support and good vibes sent my way. My fingers are crossed, too. ❤️

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The operation to remove the tumour was a success meaning she was able to keep the rest of her kidney.

The American is still waiting to find out whether the growth was malignant (cancerous) or benign with doctors saying it was 60% likely to be the former.

"I am young, healthy, and feel fortunate that this was detected so early. I am going to try and stay positive and focus on my recovery."

Just four weeks ago, Olympic Channel caught up with the 'Shib Sibs' at the Team USA awards.

The duo have not competed since PyeongChang and announced in May that they would sit out the whole of the 2019-20 season.

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