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

Incision preview. Image credit: Chris Gralapp
Incision preview. Image credit: Chris Gralapp

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 small bump that sits midway on the throat in men, and is still present, but barely noticeable in women. The size of the Adam’s apple can be reduced significantly with a surgical procedure known as a tracheal shave, thyroid cartilage 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 and further the goals of facial gender confirmation.

How is an Adam’s apple reduction and/or removal performed?

Dr. Deschamps-Braly is continually innovating with regards to Adam’s apple reduction (and augmentation via natural implant) techniques within the context of facial gender confirmation surgery. Typically, the procedure involves an incision in the throat just 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.

We are critical of techniques that place the incisions on the front surface of the throat where potential scarring will be more visible. You don’t want to draw attention to something that you may be 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. Obviously, this is not an ideal outcome.

NOTE: It is important that Adam’s apple reduction is performed correctly by a qualified and experienced plastic and craniofacial surgeon. If performed incorrectly, the tracheal cartilage may grow back partially. Dr. Deschamps-Braly uses advanced techniques to significantly minimize that possibility.