Jazz Jennings is revealing that her recent gender confirmation surgery was not without its complications.
The star of TLC's "I Am Jazz," which documents her life as a trans teen, spoke with "Nightline" co-anchor Juju Chang for a segment that aired Monday. Jennings, 18, said she knew from a young age that she was a girl, though she was assigned male at birth.
"When I was 2 years old, I went up to my mom and asked her, 'When is the good fairy going to come with her magic wand and change my penis into a vagina?' " she said.
In June, the reality star had gender confirmation surgery, but she said there were several challenges along the way. Prior to the operation, she had to shed 30 pounds, which she said was difficult.
"That was really, really challenging because I had an addiction to food," she said. "And it was something that gave me comfort. And I had to let that go because the surgery is so much more important to me than any slice of cake or pizza."
Jennings' use of puberty blockers meant doctors had to be innovative.
"Being on the blockers is something that I don't regret at all," she said. "But the only, you know, downside to it was that I didn't have enough growth down below.
"So there wasn't enough tissue to work with when it came to the surgery," she continued. "And it was very challenging to find a doctor, a surgeon who was willing to perform the operation on me just 'cause I'm such a difficult case."
"They’re using the tissue I have, the peritoneum, and also, they may take a skin graft as well," she explained. "I say it's going to be like a patchwork vagina, Franken-vagina. So yeah, as long as it's functional, that's all that matters."
Following her surgery, which reportedly took three surgeons nearly five hours, Jennings' recovery proved to be a bit challenging.
"There was just an unfortunate event and setback where things did come apart, and there was a complication," she said. "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."
And it seems Jennings wouldn't change a thing. Reflecting on the day of her surgery, she recalled: "I woke up on the morning on the surgery, and I don't think I've ever been that happy in my entire life. It was just like pure, positive energy."
Following her surgery, Jennings' updated her fans on her recovery on Instagram. "i’m doing great," she captioned a photo of her beaming, "thanks for all of the love and support."
More of Jennings' journey can be seen in the fifth season of "I Am Jazz," premiering Jan. 1 on TLC.