Jazz Jennings’s Doctors Open Up About 'Severe' Gender-Confirmation Surgery Complications

  • In a clip from the new season of I Am Jazz, Jazz Jennings’s doctors are sharing new details about her gender confirmation surgery complications and ongoing transition.
  • The teen reality star and LGBTQ+ activist underwent her first gender confirmation surgery in 2018 and had to have a follow-up procedure due to complications.
  • Marci Bowers, MD, says, “it turned out tougher than any of us imagined. I think in hindsight we would have never sent you home from the hospital.”

Jazz Jennings has had a tougher transition than her doctors expected. In the last two years, the teen reality star and LGBTQ+ activist has undergone multiple gender confirmation surgeries, and her doctors are now revealing more details about what went wrong in the new season of TLC’s I Am Jazz, People reported.

In the episode clip, Jazz’s doctors, Marci Bowers, MD, and Jess Ting, MD, speak to Jazz and her family about the previous surgeries. Bowers admits Jazz “has had a very difficult surgical course,” in the show. “She had a very incredible first surgery—it went seemingly very well, but there were problems. And that prompted a second surgery, which I was not a part of, unfortunately.”

“Taking Jazz on as a patient for surgery, we knew it was going to be a one-of-a-kind surgery,” Ting explained in the clip. “We don’t have the experience of having said we’ve done 50 of these. I was just not expecting her to have a complication as severe as what she did have.”

“This has been a real journey, hasn’t it? We knew it would be tough—it turned out tougher than any of us imagined,” Bowers tells Jazz’s family. “I think in hindsight we would have never sent you home from the hospital. You know, easy to say now. When I wasn’t here when you had problems and had to go back, I can’t tell you how stressful that was.”

It hasn’t been easy for Jazz, either. She shared a bit of what she’s gone through on Instagram. Jazz opened up in the caption: “As portrayed in this teaser, the past year has been extremely challenging. I have experienced some of my highest highs and lowest lows… Although it continues to be difficult to cope with the hurdles life throws my way, I have been actively working every day to get better and improve my mental health.”


Jazz went through her initial gender confirmation surgery in June 2018. Doctors had to use a new technique because she started using hormones at such a young age. Since she hadn’t developed enough tissue to construct a vagina, Jazz’s doctors used tissue from her stomach lining.

Jazz experienced complications and had to return for a follow-up procedure. “There was just an unfortunate event and setback where things did come apart, and there was a complication,” she told the outlet. “I had to come back in for another procedure, but it was just all part of the journey. The good thing though is that it was only cosmetic and external so it wasn’t too dramatic.”

Jazz came out as transgender at age 5 and has been sharing her transition in the TLC series I Am Jazz and on her Youtube channel. FYI: Gender confirmation surgery gives “transgender individuals the physical appearance and functional abilities of the gender they know themselves to be,” according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The new season of I Am Jazz premieres on TLC Tuesday Jan. 28 at 9:00 pm EST.

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