U.S. Olympic figure skater Maia Shibutani discovers 'shocking' tumor on kidney after ER visit

Maia Shibutani opened up about some scary health news on Instagram. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Instagram)

U.S. Olympic figure skater Maia Shibutani revealed some scary health news on Instagram on Monday. Last week, doctors in Los Angeles discovered that she had a tumor on her kidney, which could be malignant.

Shibutani was alerted that there might be something wrong in October, after she went to the emergency room in New York for a stomach virus. Doctors there found an “abnormality” and suggested that she have it checked out. After an MRI last week, doctors told her that they had found a “small mass” on one of her kidneys.

The news was “shocking” to Shibutani, who is just 25. In her Instagram post she discussed her feelings about the tumor, and how she’s been handling it. She was also able to share a very hopeful update: on Sunday she had surgery to have the mass removed, and it was successful.

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. ❤️

There’s no indication right now if the mass and subsequent surgery could impact her ability to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, especially because doctors are still determining whether the tumor was malignant. Shibutani won the bronze medal in ice dancing with her brother, Alex, at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Competition couldn’t be further from her mind right now, though. As she said in her Instagram post, she’s trying to “stay positive” and focus on her recovery.

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