On Tuesday’s I Am Jazz season 5 premiere, Jazz, 18, had a final appointment with her doctor to make sure that everything was in line ahead of the operation, which she underwent in June.
“It’s been almost a year since I’ve seen Jazz and examined her,” said Jazz’s surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers, “and we had a number of things that we were dealing with. And so she’s had some challenges to overcome. She’s on the borderline for age to do the surgery at all, and so we’ve got to have everything perfect.”
Joining Jazz at her appointment was her parents Greg and Jeanette Jennings, who had a few inquiries of their own about the procedure — including how Jazz’s new genitalia would be created.
“For the genitals, for the outside, it’s just the tissue she already has,” Dr. Bowers explained to Greg. “And for the sensory portions, it’s going to be the head of the penis will become the clitoris. The vagina is really where things are still TBD.”
Upon hearing that Dr. Bowers and the surgical team hadn’t completely figured out what approach they would take when it came to building Jazz’s vagina, the teen said it was “a little bit nerve-racking because it just shows how tough of a case I am.”
The surgeon explained that Jazz’s operation “is a breakthrough in terms of the surgery in being able to harvest this peritoneal lining.”
“Jazz as a medical case is really a conundrum because her puberty was blocked so well that she didn’t get growth of her genitals in a way that allows us as a surgeon to use a conventional approach,” said Dr. Bowers, who admitted that there were risks involved, including “hemorrhage inside” or “injury to the intestine.”
“And so we have to be very creative to find new ways of getting tissue to line these areas of the body that we create,” she said.
Dr. Bowers then took the conversation to a very personal level with Jazz and inquired about “the sexual stuff,” which Jeanette said “doesn’t get any easier to discuss it. I still feel uncomfortable.”
“The orgasm,” said Jazz. “The Big O.”
When Dr. Bowers asked, “Did it get anywhere?” Jazz admitted, “Well, there hasn’t been much change. My libido’s still basically nowhere.”
According to Dr. Bowers, people that “are able to orgasm pre-surgery, they’re very highly likely to be able to orgasm afterwards.”
“Jazz does not know what an orgasm is and it’s very important when expressing intimacy,” said Dr. Bowers. “And although it is not something that’s going to delay surgery, it’s not going to be any easier for her to have an orgasm after surgery.”
Jazz also inquired about the physical aspects of her new genitalia. “How much depth do you expect I’ll be able to get?” she asked.
“We would expect at least five inches,” Dr. Bowers said about Jazz’s vagina. “I mean, to me that’s the minimum.”
Said Jazz, “You just do as much as possible.”
With a smile, Dr. Bowers told her: “Well, news flash, but us girls don’t compare the depths of our vaginas.”
During the appointment, Jazz also did her weigh-in for Dr. Bowers, which confirmed that she had lost the required 30 lbs. — dropping from 175 lbs. to 141.4 lbs. — and was ready for surgery.
“I’m just so so so happy and relieved,” said Jazz. “It just feels so great knowing that I can prove to Dr. Bowers that I took the steps needed to prepare myself for this operation and now it’s all on her to do the rest of the work.”
I Am Jazz airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.
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