Adam’s Apple Reduction (Tracheal Shave / Thyroid Cartilage Reduction)

What is the difference between the Adam’s apple in men and women?

One of the most noticeable gender-related differences between men and women is the presence of a prominent Adam’s apple; the bump that sits midway on the throat in men, and is still present, but barely noticeable in women.

As one of the plastic surgery procedures included in Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS), an Adam’s apple can be reduced significantly with a surgical procedure known as a tracheal shave, thyroid cartilige reduction, or Adam’s apple reduction. It involves literally reducing or shaving the thyroid cartilage down to decrease the size of the Adam’s apple to make the neck and throat appear more feminine.

How is an Adam’s apple reduction performed within Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS)?

Dr. Deschamps-Braly is continualling innovating with regard to the Adam’s apple reduction (and augmentation) techniques within the context of transgender plastic surgery. The Adam’s apple reduction is most often performed under general anesthesia within the context of a set of procedures included in your long format facial feminization surgery.

Dr. Deschamps-Braly will make an incision in your throat under the chin. The vertical muscles of the throat are then separated to expose the Adam’s apple and the tracheal cartilage is shaved to reduce its size.

NOTE: It is critical that the procedure be done correctly by a qualified and experienced surgeon. If performed incorrectly, the tracheal cartilage may grow back partially. Dr. Deschamps-Braly uses advanced techniques to significantly minimize that possibility.

Also, we are critical of techniques that place the incisions on the front surface of the throat where potential scarring will be more visible. We don’t want to draw attention to something that the patient is trying to draw attention away from! In addition, we have seen a number of patients who have had this incision placed inappropriately on the front of the neck, only then to have the scar stick to the cartilage underneath; and move up and down when the patient speaks or swallows.

Minimal and localized swelling and bruising around the incision is the most common phase of recovery. You may experience some mild discomfort with swallowing in the first few days after surgery. Full recovery takes about two weeks.