Bibian Mentel's back operation went well.

The former snowboarder had to undergo surgery on Wednesday to have a piece of vertebra damaged by a tumor removed.

"After a number of exciting hours, I can now let you know that the operation went well", writes her husband Edwin Spee on Facebook on Wednesday.

Spee cannot visit his wife yet because of the corona rules.

"But I understand that she has already shown her first smile."

Last year, a tumor was discovered again in the 48-year-old Paralympic champion, who has had cancer for years.

That is why she had to undergo surgery again and the coming days are exciting, Spee writes.

"Because Bibian's body is somewhat weaker than normal after all the heavy operations, radiation treatments and medicines, we have to keep our fingers crossed, especially for the next 48 hours, that no bleeding or infections will occur and she therefore recovers well."

However, Spee expects his wife to be back to normal soon.

"Knowing Bibian, she's probably already making plans for Christmas and then we'll just hit 2021!"

Mentel became Dutch snowboard champion six times in the halfpipe and snowboard cross sections.

In 2002 she became Dutch snowboard cross champion again with a prosthesis.

She won gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 Paralympic Games.