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Australian swimming star Ariarne Titmus has had surgery to remove two benign tumours after a large growth was found on her right ovary.

Just over a month after winning two gold medals at the world swimming championships in Fukuoka, Titmus shared a personal post on Instagram detailing the health scare.

“Sometimes as an athlete you think you’re immune to real life health problems. We’re too busy keeping our body in check to perform and push ourselves day in and day out,” Titmus wrote.

“For a while I’ve been managing an ongoing hip injury, and three weeks ago I had an MRI to suss out exactly what was going on. Sure enough, there was a little something with the hip of which is completely manageable.

“However, it was something else that the doctors picked up on that made everything else seem irrelevant.

“A large growth was found on my right ovary.”

Ariarne Titmus with her 400m freestyle gold medal at the world swimming championships alongside Katie Ledecky (left) and Erika Fairweather (right).Credit: Getty

Titmus first represented Australia in 2017 and went on to win individual gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics in the 200m and 400m freestyle events.

The 23-year-old has always put her career first, but said her latest health scare had put things into perspective. In particular, she said she had been petrified the tumours would shatter her dream of one day having children.

“For anyone that knows me, they’d know I’d give up anything in the world to be a mother, it’s my biggest dream … so this was a scary time for me. Of course, in these moments you think of the worst-case scenario, and I was petrified of potentially losing the ovary or there being implications that could affect me and my desire to have children one day.

“However, I am one of the lucky ones.”

Titmus had two benign tumours removed from her ovary, she said.

“Being an athlete is tough. Being a woman is tough. In the past month, I’ve learnt more about my body and what it is capable of,” Titmus said.

“I’ve learnt that being fit and healthy doesn’t mean you’re immune to these things. I feel blessed that I found these tumours before they got even bigger and started to have real implications on my health.

“Thank you to my family and those close to me for being there as support during a bit of a scary time.

“Thank you to the amazing doctors who safely got rid of my little “gremlins” and took great care of me.

“Time to rest up and recover for a couple of weeks before we go again. Love you all.”

Titmus, who regained her 400m freestyle world record in July in Fukuoka, received dozens of messages of support from other swimmers.

“Hope you feel better soon,” wrote Summer McIntosh, one of Titmus’ main rivals.

“So glad the results are positive,” wrote Olympian Giaan Rooney. “Knowing you this is just a blip on the radar.”

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