Caitlyn Jenner reveals in her upcoming memoir that she underwent gender reassignment surgery in January of this year, almost two years after she revealed her decision to transition.
That reveal was the result of Jenner, 67, being annoyed by fans who were constantly asking about her genitals and whether or not she had kept the parts she was biologically born with or had surgery, she writes in ‘The Secrets of My Life’.
‘The surgery was a success, and I feel not only wonderful but liberated,’ writes Jenner in her book according to Radar Online.
She also explains her decision had much to do with the discomfort that came with tucking away her penis.
‘So why even consider it? Because it’s just a penis. It has no special gifts or use for me other than what I have said before, the ability to take a whiz in the woods,’ writes Jenner.
‘I just want to have all the right parts. I am also tired of tucking the damn thing in all the time.’
Jenner also writes about how good she felt after the surgery.
‘I am going to live authentically for the first time in my life,’ she writes of her thoughts after undergoing the procedure.
‘I am going to have an enthusiasm for life that I have not had in 39 years since the Olympics, almost two thirds of my life.’
Jenner also writes to those curious minds who stop to ask her about her genital situation: ‘You want to know, so now you know. Which is why this is the first time, and the last time, I will ever speak of it.’
News of Jenner’s surgery will be perhaps the biggest surprise in her new memoir, which netted her a $4million advance and was written with the help of ‘Friday Night Lights’ author Buzz Bissinger.
Male to female gender reassignment surgery is a far less costly and far more successful procedure than the female to male procedure.
In the surgery, the testicles and most of the penis are removed while the urethra is shortened.
The skin that had been surrounding the penis is then inverted and used to create a functioning vagina as well as a neoclitoris in some cases, which allows for sensation.
That is done by using a ‘composite graft of the tip of the penile glans’ according to NCBI.
The prostate meanwhile is not removed during the surgery, though it does shrink because of the hormones that are taken during the transition process.
There is then a long period of maintenance following the surgery, which requires between four and six weeks of recovery.
Patients spend at least three days in the hospital and two weeks doing no activity that is in any way strenuous.
The body initially treats the vaginoplasty like a wound, meaning that dilation must be performed by the patient so their vagina does not close up.
This is done in most cases with a dildo or dilator, and for the first three weeks must be done three to four times a day for 15 minutes each time.
Daily dilation ends after week 12 in some cases, but after that the new organ must be dilated at least once a week for the remained of the patient’s life.
Other doctors recommend daily dilation for the rest of the patient’s life, using the largest dilator they can comfortably fit in their vagina.
The procedure can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000, which is one of the reasons many of the estimated 700,000 transgender persons living in the United States cannot afford the surgery.
The average cost is somewhere around $20,000 in the United States.
Studies have found few negative side effects and many psychological benefits for transgender patients after they have undergone the procedure.
The most common side effects are bleeding and swelling from the surgery as well as vaginal discharge.