Picture: File Selena Gomez has revealed she received a kidney transplant

Actress Selena Gomez has revealed she received a kidney transplant from her best friend in what she described as the ‘ultimate gift and sacrifice’.

The former Disney star, who shot to fame after appearing in Hannah Montana, told fans she had the operation to treat complications caused by lupus, an autoimmune disease.

The 25-year-old – the most followed person on photo-sharing site Instagram with 126 million fans – released a picture of herself in hospital next to American actress Francia Raisa, 29, who donated the organ.

Miss Gomez, who had a romance with singer Justin Bieber, wrote: ‘I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music.

‘I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.’

She added: ‘There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa.

‘She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me?...?I love you so much sis.’

According to Lupus UK, around 50,000 people in Britain have the potentially life-threatening condition, of which an estimated 90 per cent are women.