What exactly is a tissue expander? That's the question on fans minds ever since Jazz Jennings began seeing potential surgeons about her "bottom surgery." The transgender teenager is currently preparing for transfeminine bottom surgery to transform her male genitalia and reconstruct it into female genitalia. Unfortunately, the I Am Jazz star has run into complications including possibly needing tissue expanders in order to have a successful procedure.

"I’m kind of scared what Dr. Ting is gonna say,” Jazz told her family in a recent episode of the reality show. “The worst case scenario is that he tells me that I need the tissue expander and that I’m not a good candidate for the peritoneal lining procedure.”


Tissue expansion is defined as a "relatively straightforward procedure that enables the body to 'grow' extra skin for use in reconstructing almost any part of the body. A silicone balloon expander is inserted under the skin near the area to be repaired and then gradually filled with saline or carbon dioxide over time, causing the skin to stretch and grow. It is most commonly used for breast reconstruction following breast removal, but it's also used to repair skin damaged by birth defects, accidents, surgery and in certain cosmetic procedures."

Not only does Jazz have to lose weight before she can have the gender reassignment surgery, she also has a lot of questions about it. "How much of mom’s vagina have you seen?” Jazz asks her visibly uncomfortable dad last year. “Be honest. I want to know in the future… When I’m going to have a vagina, how much is my partner going to actually see? Are they going to open up and take a magnifying glass like Dr. Reed?” We hope Jazz gets her answers and is able to have a successful surgery.

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