In a new interview with NBC News correspondent Savannah Guthrie, Selena Gomez revealed that she endured a six-hour second surgery following complications with her kidney transplant.
She said that immediately after the surgery, she felt an intense pain. “I started hyperventilating, and there was so much pain there.” As Guthrie explains, Gomez’s new kidney had “flipped,” and doctors told her she’d have to go back into surgery.
She added, “My teeth were grinding. I was freaking out. It was a six-hour surgery that they had to do on me. And the normal kidney process is two hours. I am very thankful that there are people who know what to do in that situation.”
Gomez revealed in September that she’d spent the summer recovering from a kidney transplant. In a confessional Instagram, Gomez shared that her friend Francia Raisa (who will appear on Grown-ish next year) donated a kidney because Gomez’s own were failing. Gomez suffers from Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that typically harms tissues and organs. Robert Montgomery, a transplant surgeon and director of the Transplant Institute at NYU Langone Health, told Refinery29 that between 10 and 30% of people with lupus get kidney transplants.
“You wait as long as you can, and once kidneys are sort of at the end of their functioning, then that’s the time you want to get the transplant,” he explained.
Gomez’s kidneys were failing by the beginning of summer, and Raisa took notice. She said there was one day when Gomez was too weak to even open a water bottle. At this point, Gomez was waiting for a kidney transplant, but the list was several years long.
“It just vomited out of me, I was like, ‘Of course I’ll get tested,'” Raisa told Guthrie. “I called her assistant, and I said, ‘Give me the information. I wanna do this.'”
The two recovered together in a home that Gomez rented for them. During recovery, they were only allowed an hour of walking a day, and required assistance for basic activities such as getting dressed.
“We couldn’t take showers by ourselves. It was a really brutal process,” Raisa said.
These days, Gomez’s lupus is in remission, and there is only a 3% – 5% chance that it will return. And the girls are officially off bed rest: Raisa is busy shooting Grown-ish and Gomez is set to perform for the first time post surgery at the 2017 AMAs.