Dream Tour surfer Paige Hareb has revealed she had major surgery last month for a kidney problem she's had since birth.
The surgery was kept under wraps for nearly two months with Hareb only writing about the operation on her online blog yesterday.
"I had the surgery on the second of November," she said.
"When I found out what it was I was pretty scared actually. I didn't know what was going to happen."
The 22-year-old said she has had what she thought was a sore back for the past five years, which at times has caused her to vomit on long flights.
"Pretty much every flight this year I was spewing up," she said.
"I thought it was just a muscle in my back and have been to physios, chiropractors and doctors. I've pretty much had every test, but not the right ones."
Hareb said no-one had the answer so she went to Warriors rugby league team doctor John Mayhew, who diagnosed the problem straight away.
"Basically the tube that connects my right kidney with my bladder was twisted and the fluid wasn't getting through properly so it was stuffing up my kidney," Hareb said.
"My kidney was only working at like 38 per cent."
Hareb said she was told it can come on at any age but that she was born with it.
"He said he hadn't seen a case like mine for 10 years, then he saw two in a week so he knew what it was straightaway and sent me to get the tests."
The tests confirmed what Mayhew thought and Hareb went under the knife in Auckland soon after.
"The surgery is called pyeloplasty, it was done through four keyholes with a robot," she said.
"It took two hours and I was in hospital for a day and a night."
A stent was put in which got taken out last week, Hareb said.
She said the sickness and pain started when she began competing internationally.
"It sort of came on randomly and would get inflamed, it just got worse and worse," she said.
"For the whole five years I didn't know what it was and didn't want to complain, everyone gets a sore back."
The surgery was the second for Hareb this year after she broke a little finger while snowboarding.
- Fairfax Media