In a historic female-to-male gender reassignment surgery in New Jersey, a transgender patient received a penis and scrotum after doctors used skin from his forearm.
Ever since Elijah Stephens, 28, was 6-years-old, he knew his physical anatomy did not match the way he felt. Earlier this year, Stephens was able to undergo New Jersey’s first phalloplasty surgery, and he couldn’t be happier, reported NJ Advance Media.
During the 14-hour operation, surgeons disconnected and reconnected tissue from Stephens’ body to create a penis and scrotum, according to the Rutgers Center for Transgender Health.
In order for Stephens to have a penis, doctors took the sensory nerves of the forearm tissue and attached it to the sensory nerves of the clitoris. His scrotum was constructed from labia tissue.
Dr. Jonathan Keith led the 15-member surgery team at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
Since doctors used nerve tissues that were highly sensitive, Stephens has been able to urinate and achieve orgasms (which is still neurologically a female orgasm), reported NJ Advance Media.
Stephens has been amazed by the results.
"I was overjoyed ... everything was perfect," Stephens told NJ Advance Media.
Although Stephens is very happy with the results, he’s had to learn how to walk and sit with this new appendage. He even called upon his brothers at one point to get their input on how to get used to the weight of his new penis.
In several more months, Stephens said he'll undergo another procedure to receive balloon implants that will allow him to get an erection.
"Life begins after surgery. My life didn't start until this was done. And now I've hit the ground running," he told NJ Advance Media.
(Photo: Shannon Fagan/Getty Images)